RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: dictionaries and Carroll John Daly online

From: Anthony Dauer (
Date: 04 Nov 2001

Well, since you belabored it ...

Only if you're speaking British English ... the American Heritage Dictionary is the OED for American English.

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition.


bi·fur·cate (b?f?r-kat´, bi-f verb bi·fur·cat·ed, bi·fur·cat·ing, bi·fur·cates

verb, transitive To divide into two parts or branches.

verb, intransitive To separate into two parts or branches; fork.

(-kat´, -kit)Forked or divided into two parts or branches, as the Y-shaped styles of certain flowers.

[Medieval Latin bifurcare, bifurcat-, to divide, from Latin bifurcus, two-pronged : bi-, two. See bi-1 + furca, fork.]

- bi?fur·cate´ly adverb
- bi´fur·ca?tion noun

Personally, I prefer Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary
(edited by the usual suspects with the usual degrees that every dictionary claims for validity).


bi·fur·cate intransitive and transitive verb [b? f?r k๴, bi fyt]
(past bi·fur·cat·ed, past participle bi·fur·cat·ed, present participle bi·fur·cat·ing, 3rd person present singular bi·fur·cates) divide in two: to split or branch off into two parts, or split something into two parts

adjective [b? fur k๴, bi fyt, b? furk?t, bi f] dividing in two: separating or branching off into two parts

[Early 17th century. From, ultimately, Latin bifurcare, literally "to fork twice," from furca "fork" (see fork ).]

-bi·fur·ca·tion [b?f?r kṳh'n], noun.

Anthony Dauer
Alexandria, Virginia

All we're asking is that you give war a chance.
-----Original Message----- From: George Upper Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2001 9:30 AM
Not to belabor this off-topic point (okay, maybe to belabor it), I double-checked in the online OED before making that post. The OED trumps Webster's anyday, although obviously I was wrong about the word not appearing in any dictionary.

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