Definition of trichotomy in English:



  • A division into three categories.

    ‘the pragmatics–semantics–syntax trichotomy’
    • ‘Machiavelli relied heavily on the dichotomy between republican and princely government, Montesquieu on a trichotomy of republics, monarchies, and despotisms.’
    • ‘Finally, recent molecular work suggested an unresolved trichotomy between sooglossids, ranoids, and all other neobatrachians.’
    • ‘Accordingly, we have treated these deeper relationships as unresolved, as shown by the trichotomy below these groups.’
    • ‘The trichotomy also prevents development of any vicariance hypotheses among the three provinces.’
    • ‘This level of divergence was comparable to that between A. aeneus from Costa Rica and the widespread A. mexicanus lineage, producing a trichotomy between these three lineages.’
    • ‘Phylogenetic relationships inferred from hsp 82 depicted the rotifer class Seisonidea as the sister taxon of a monophyletic trichotomy that included Acanthocephala, Bdelloidea, and Monogononta.’
    • ‘Thus, the relationship appears to be close to a trichotomy and may prove very difficult to resolve with confidence.’
    • ‘However, due to the ambiguity in the phylogenetic analyses, this divergence is shown as an unresolved trichotomy.’
    • ‘On the other hand, Kessing showed that the two species made an unresolved trichotomy with S. purpuratus.’
    • ‘The argument comes down to considering a trichotomy,’
    • ‘Apparently, the coelacanth, lungfish, and tetrapod lineages diverged within such a short time interval that at this level of analysis, their relationships appear to be an irresolvable trichotomy.’
    • ‘Rather they find a trichotomy of ducks, geese, and a Cereopsis-Cnemiornis clade.’
    • ‘This trichotomy has been reinterpreted in various ways, but it still serves.’
    • ‘The interordinal phylogeny of the hemipteroid assemblage is still an unresolved trichotomy.’
    • ‘With the absence of informative characters, these three individuals appear in a trichotomy.’
    • ‘In Throckmorton's scheme, D. mimica and Dorsilopha form a trichotomy together with Hirtodrosophila.’
    • ‘Both clades, together with H. bastetanum, form a trichotomy that it is separate from H. suaveolens.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most accepted and applied taxonomy of motivation is the trichotomy developed and operationalized by McClelland.’
    • ‘Early Paleozoic land plants, land animals, and paleosols have been considered in terms of the breeder-competitor-tolerator trichotomy in nonquantitative terms.’
    • ‘Instead, there is a trichotomy of the three lineages (Smithornis / Corvus - Vidua/remaining avian taxa).’


17th century: from Greek trikha threefold from treis three on the pattern of dichotomy.