`dichotomy’

Pronunciation: The first syllable `di’ is pronounced like the word `die’; the following `chot’ sounds like the word `cot’. The `o’ that follows is like `a’ in `china’, and the final `y’ is like the `i’ in `kit’ and `bit’. The main stress is on the second syllable `chot’. When you say that there is a dichotomy between two things, what you mean is that there is a big difference between them. The two are so different that they seem to be the complete opposite. The word `dichotomy’ is mostly used in formal contexts.

Example: What most students don’t realise is that there is a dichotomy between theory and practice.

The word comes from the Greek `dikhotomia’ meaning, `cut in two’.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) -April 16, 2007 

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