"the number two, two units treated as one," 1670s, from Latin dyad-, stem of dyas, from Greek dyas "the number two, a group of two," from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two"). Specific sense in chemistry ("a bivalent element") is by 1865; also used in biology, poetics, mathematics. Related: Dyadic.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "two."
It forms all or part of: anadiplosis; balance; barouche; between; betwixt; bezel; bi-; binary; bis-; biscuit; combination; combine; deuce; deuterium; Deuteronomy; di- (1) "two, double, twice;" dia-; dichotomy; digraph; dimity; diode; diphthong; diploid; diploma; diplomacy; diplomat; diplomatic; diplodocus; double; doublet; doubloon; doubt; dozen; dual; dubious; duet; duo; duodecimal; duplex; duplicate; duplicity; dyad; epididymis; hendiadys; pinochle; praseodymium; redoubtable; twain; twelfth; twelve; twenty; twi-; twice; twig; twilight; twill; twin; twine; twist; 'twixt; two; twofold; zwieback.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dvau, Avestan dva, Greek duo, Latin duo, Old Welsh dou, Lithuanian dvi, Old Church Slavonic duva, Old English twa, twegen, German zwei, Gothic twai "two;" first element in Hittite ta-ugash "two years old."