Definition of bifurcate in US English:



  • Divide into two branches or forks.

    no object ‘just below Cairo the river bifurcates’
    with object ‘the trail was bifurcated by a mountain stream’
    • ‘Other forms have additional spines, or bear bifurcating spines so as to create the appearance externally of additional spines.’
    • ‘The present study is concerned mainly with the delta region, where the river bifurcates into a west and an east channel at the city.’
    • ‘In older embryos, the dorsal branch bifurcates.’
    • ‘The branch bifurcating from the lower orifice of the stomach descends to the deep layer of the abdomen.’
    • ‘Where the road bifurcates, keep right as indicated by the signs.’
    • ‘The river bifurcates into two streams just prior to emptying into the lake, where they form two deltas.’
    • ‘The cars heading down curve slowly, as one watches the flower beds on both sides, not to speak of the stately mansions, condominiums and townhouses that the street bifurcates.’
    • ‘Each bronchus further bifurcates into a series of subdivisions within the lungs.’
    • ‘And of course there are the times where a debate fragments or polarises, where more than one of these structuring posts occurs roughly simultaneously, or with radically different views - bifurcating any debate.’
    • ‘One morning, a village on the periphery of a city wakes up to find itself bifurcated by the construction of a National Highway.’
    • ‘The center rod bifurcates at the top, and one branch joins the adjacent vertical.’
    • ‘The eastern fault strand can be traced northward at the surface along the eastern margin of the Ghab basin before bifurcating to the NNE.’
    • ‘Features include a two-storey reception hall with domed ceiling, bifurcating staircase, gallery landing and reception rooms with marble fireplaces.’
    • ‘The British Columbia province is distinctively bifurcated into the lush green forests and the dry and arid region.’
    • ‘Once you step into this massive city that is bifurcated into numerous districts and zones, you will have no snag in getting around.’
    • ‘The new bill seeks to strengthen the regulatory body by bifurcating it into a tribunal and a regulator.’
    • ‘Like previous chapters, this one is bifurcated into separate, unevenly linked sections on Great Britain and the United States.’
    • ‘What's news is how we're bifurcating our attention - splitting it into parts - and how media must now compete for slices of it.’
    • ‘At the lower bridge the river bifurcates into two similar size branches.’
    • ‘The quandary bifurcates: one of its branches leads to known resources, the other to unknown ones to be discovered.’
    branch, split, divide, subdivide, separate, part, diverge, go in different directions, go separate ways, split in two
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  • Forked; branched.

    ‘a bifurcate tree’
    • ‘The ribs are only bifurcate, never trifurcatc.’
    • ‘Processes may be unbranched and taper to slender points, or may be bifurcate, and may additionally have occasional small or incipient branches (often as spinules) along main stem.’
    • ‘The stigmatic branches are less bifurcate.’
    • ‘Medially, it blends with the anterior part of the medial ligament of the ankle joint and, laterally, with the plantar margin of the calcaneonavicular part of the bifurcate ligament.’
    • ‘Mycelia shown by confocal microscopy are bifurcate, and do not appear to be epiphytic nor epixylic since they were not found on plant remains.’
    branching, branched, diverging, y-shaped, v-shaped, pronged, divided, split, separated
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Early 17th century: from medieval Latin bifurcat- ‘divided into two forks’, from the verb bifurcare, from Latin bifurcus ‘two-forked’, from bi- ‘having two’ + furca ‘a fork’.