from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Anthropology The custom of marrying within a particular social or cultural group in accordance with custom or law.
  • noun Biology Reproduction by the fusion of gametes of similar ancestry, as in self-pollination or inbreeding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, the fusion or coalescence of two or more female gametes.
  • noun Marriage within the tribe: a custom among some savage peoples: opposed to exogamy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Marriage only within the tribe; a custom restricting a man in his choice of a wife to the tribe to which he belongs; -- opposed to exogamy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The practice of marrying or requiring to marry within one’s own ethnic, religious, or social group.

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

  • noun marriage within one's own tribe or group as required by custom or law


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

endo- + -gamy


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  • "To choose a mate from inside the cousinhood seemed right, because a wedding within the clan kept intact estates and black villages that would otherwise be divided by fresh blood. Since other colonial families did the same, the fund of suitable mates never grew much. Anthropologists call it endogamy—the prohibition of marriage outside the group, in this case the caste of slave owners. The Anglican Church, citing the book of Leviticus, banned sex between close kin. Nearly all the rice families, including the Balls, were careful Episcopalians, but they did not mind trespassing the old Mosaic law. So they married each other, as an aunt of mine used to say, 'until they all grew tails.'"

    —Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 242

    October 13, 2009

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

    n. Marriage within the tribe: a custom among some savage peoples: opposed to exogamy.

    Savage peoples? When was this definition written ... 100 years ago?

    January 11, 2013

  • Some definitions might have been written more than 100 years ago. I'll add this to my list of disturbing-definitions-from-the-century-dictionary.

    January 11, 2013

  • dog(a)matic?


    January 11, 2013

  • "Will engine require coal?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 22, 2013