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  • Noun

dichotomy

dahy-KOT-uh-mee

Context
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The traits that separate or cause a dichotomy between creatures with vertebrae and those without are significant and marked. These two groups have different characteristics and needs, and the dichotomy or division between them has been studied by scientists who follow evolutionary adaptations. Many interesting species fall under the invertebrate category of this split or dichotomy, of which the oyster is a favorite of mine.

Quiz: How does someone create a dichotomy?

  • By creating a split or large disagreement.
  • By grouping things in pairs to be more effective.
  • By showing how two things could be similar.

Memory Hook
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Tom, Dick, and Harry The expression "every Tom, Dick, and Harry" would not be suitable for speaking about a "dichotomy" because that expression refers to people who are essentially the same, not entirely different.

Examples
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  • "The elephants are one of the natural resources that has been caught up in human greed on one hand and human need on the other, so there we have a dichotomy," Waweru said. —NPR
  • A dichotomy emerges between young adults 18-to-34 years old and adults 65 and older, according to Axios-SurveyMonkey polls on smart cities and facial recognition. While wariness of smart devices and cities increases with age, so does support for surveillance technology. —Axios

Word Ingredients
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dich- in two
-o- connective
tom cut, cutting, slice
-y state or condition

A dichotomy is a “cutting in two,” or to “cut” into “two” separate and distinct groups.

Word Theater
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BBC: Not Only But Also There is a great dichotomy between these two teams.
Dichotomy

Word Constellation
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Dichotomy

Word Variants
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dichotomous adj of a division or difference between two things