Define: Dichotomy

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Dichotomy

Quick Summary of Dichotomy

A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

What is the dictionary definition of Dichotomy?

Dictionary Definition

  1. A separation or division into two; a distinction that results in such a division.
  2. Such a division involving apparently incompatible or opposite principles; a duality.
  3. logic The division of a class into two disjoint subclasses that are together comprehensive, as the division of man into white and not white.


Full Definition of Dichotomy

Division of one thing into two parts, normally differing or opposing; the state of being two-fold, having two different components. People can discuss the dichotomy of body and soul, men and women, or eastern and western culture.


Synonyms For Dichotomy

split, bisection, difference, separation, bipartition, duality

Dichotomy FAQ's

What is an example of a dichotomy?
A Dichotomy is defined as a sharp division of things or ideas into two contradictory parts. An example of dichotomy is grouping mammals by those that live on land and those that live in water.
What is dichotomy used for?
Dichotomy is from the Greek word dichotomia, which means “dividing in two.” Dichotomy is a literary technique that divides a thing into two equal and contradictory parts, or between two opposing groups. In literary work, authors use this technique for creating conflicts in their stories and plays.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Dichotomy. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. February 16, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Dichotomy. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: February 16, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Dichotomy. Retrieved February 16, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Dichotomy are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 6th January 2020.