One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Designating a table in which data are divided into three or more classes by each of two or more criteria; of or relating to such a table; especially designating an estimate of the product-moment coefficient derived from such a table, and concepts used in obtaining such an estimate.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in Biometrika. From Hellenistic Greek πολύχωρος divided into many compartments + -ic.
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