What does polygamy mean?

Definitions for polygamypəˈlɪg ə mi

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word polygamy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. polygamy(noun)

    having more than one spouse at a time


  1. polygamy(Noun)

    The having of multiple socially bonded sexual partners at the same time

    Originally polygamy could work either or both ways, but civilisation generally forbids simultaneous husbands

  2. polygamy(Noun)

    Commonly used specifically for polygyny, the marriage of a man to more than one wife, or the practice of having several wives, at the same time.

    The Islamic form of polygamy is a husband with up to four wives

  3. polygamy(Noun)

    The state or habit of having more than one sexual mate.

    An insect queen actually practices polygamy only one day, while for an alpha-male defending his harem is the very essence of both his status and polygamy

  4. polygamy(Noun)

    The condition or state of a plant which bears both perfect and unisexual flowers.

  5. Origin: Recorded since 1591, from Late polygamia, from polygamia, itself from polygamos," from polys + gamos.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Polygamy(noun)

    the having of a plurality of wives or husbands at the same time; usually, the marriage of a man to more than one woman, or the practice of having several wives, at the same time; -- opposed to monogamy; as, the nations of the East practiced polygamy. See the Note under Bigamy, and cf. Polyandry

  2. Polygamy(noun)

    the state or habit of having more than one mate

  3. Polygamy(noun)

    the condition or state of a plant which bears both perfect and unisexual flowers

  4. Origin: [Gr. ; cf. F. polygamie.]


  1. Polygamy

    Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny, and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry, and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called group marriage. The term is used in related ways in social anthropology, sociobiology, sociology, as well as in popular speech. In social anthropology, polygamy is the practice of a person's making him/herself available for two or more spouses to mate with. In contrast, monogamy is a marriage consisting of only two parties. Like monogamy, the term is often used in a de facto sense, applying regardless of whether the relationships are recognized by the state. In sociobiology and zoology, polygamy is used in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating. The only form in which polygamy is permitted in countries which do permit it is in the form of a man taking multiple wives. In most of these countries, alongside polygamy, child marriage is also common.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Polygamy

    pō-lig′a-mi, n. the practice of having more than one wife at the same time.—n.pl. Polygā′mia, the 23d class in the Linnæan system, embracing plants in which the stamens and pistils are separate in some flowers and associated in others.—adj. Polygā′mian.—n. Polyg′amist.—adj. Polyg′amous, relating to polygamy: (bot.) a term applied to plants which bear both unisexual and hermaphrodite flowers, either on the same or on different individual plants. [Gr.,—polys, many, gamos, marriage.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. polygamy

    An endeavor to get more out of life than there is in it.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A thoughtless way of increasing the family expenses.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of polygamy in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of polygamy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Kit Opie:

    We're moving away from 'Until death do us part' as women are no longer willing to put up with [polygamy].

  2. John Dehlin:

    I was excommunicated because I was speaking openly on difficult issues like same-sex marriage and Joseph Smith's polygamy and women ordination in the church.

  3. Jessica Christensen:

    I was raised in polygamy. I was born to Heidi and John Daniel. Heidi is John Daniel’s sixth wife out of 14 wives. My lifestyle growing up was kind of like she was just a single mom. My dad was the disciplinarian, it was a pretty abusive environment, primarily physical abuse from my dad, and then there was also sexual abuse within the group from children to children—the older children to younger children.

  4. Anthony Burgess:

    The aura of the theocratic death penalty for adultery still clings to America, even outside New England, and multiple divorce, which looks to the European like serial polygamy, is the moral solution to the problem of the itch. Love comes into it too, of course, but in Europe we tend to see marital love as an eternity which encompasses hate and also indifference: when we promise to love we really mean that we promise to honor a contract. Americans, seeming to take marriage with not enough seriousness, are really taking love and sex with too much.

Images & Illustrations of polygamy

  1. polygamypolygamypolygamy

Translations for polygamy

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"polygamy." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 24 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/polygamy>.

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