Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time.
  • n. Zoology A mating pattern in which a male mates with more than one female in a single breeding season.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or practice of having several wives at the same time; plurality of wives; marriage to several wives - H. Spencer

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state or practice of having several wives at the same time; marriage to several wives.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Marriage or cohabitation of one man with more than one woman at the same time; polygamy as practised by the male.
  • n. Of a male animal, the state of having more than one female mate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. having more than one wife at a time

Etymologies

From Greek πολύ (poly, "many") + γυνή (gyne, "woman, wife"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That latter is exceedingly rare, which is why the researchers use the term polygyny and not the often misused polygamy, which refers to multiple partners for both sexes.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Michael E — the relationship between war and larger scale polygyny is interesting, as there is a positive feedback loop.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Interracial Marriage Rates Going Up

  • Michael Ejercito says: newscaper: Michael E — the relationship between war and larger scale polygyny is interesting, as there is a positive feedback loop.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Interracial Marriage Rates Going Up

  • The evidence of human history is strong that polygamy - which in practice has overwhelmingly been polygyny, that is, the marriage of one man to many women - has been oppressive to women, all the way from the harems of the ancient kings of Persia to a contemporary sect in southeastern B.C. Moreover, polygyny also discriminated against men of less power and wealth.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • This ruling did not deal with issues such as polygyny (the practice of marrying more than one wife), the status of respective spouses, maintenance obligations, and marriage termination.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The more proper term for what Mormons practiced would be "polygyny," or "multiple wives," though a bit of polyandry "multiple husbands" did creep in there at the beginningmuch to the distress of the Saints to whom this fact is pointed out.

    Yet another memoir excerpt—I call this one "Prophet Sharing"

  • The most common variation, and that which most clearly possesses a biological foundation, is the tendency to polygyny, which is found at all stages of culture, even, in an unrecognized and more or less promiscuous shape, in the highest civilization. [

    Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 Sex in Relation to Society

  • Further, polygamy (more properly polygyny) only arises in more widespread form lalter when human cultures developed enough that significant inequality between males could arise (wrt them having enough resources to to support multiple ‘wives’ and children).

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Interracial Marriage Rates Going Up

  • Michael Ejercito says: newscaper: Further, polygamy (more properly polygyny) only arises in more widespread form lalter when human cultures developed enough that significant inequality between males could arise (wrt them having enough resources to to support multiple ‘wives’ and children).

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Interracial Marriage Rates Going Up

  • South African family jurisprudence grants legal recognition to both same-sex marriage and polygyny, while the United States prohibits and resists both.

    Love and Marriage

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Comments

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  • In zoology, polygyny also refers to ant colonies with multiple queens. Interestingly, the adjective form can be any of the following:
    - polygyne
    - polygynous
    - polygynic

    April 16, 2010