Definitions

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

  • noun The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time.
  • noun Zoology A mating pattern in which a single individual mates with more than one individual of the opposite sex.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Marriage with more than one spouse; the having of a plurality of wives or husbands at the same time.
  • noun In zoology, the practice or habit of having more than one mate of the opposite sex; polyandry or polygyny

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

  • 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. See the Note under bigamy, and cf. polyandry.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The state or habit of having more than one mate.
  • noun (Bot.) The condition or state of a plant which bears both perfect and unisexual flowers.

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

  • noun The having of multiple socially bonded sexual partners at the same time
  • 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.
  • noun zoology The state or habit of having more than one sexual mate.
  • noun botany The condition or state of a plant which bears both perfect and unisexual flowers.

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

  • noun having more than one spouse at a time

Etymologies

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

[French polygamie, from Late Latin polygamia, from Greek polugamiā : polu-, poly- + -gamiā, -gamy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1591, from Late Latin polygamia, from Ancient Greek polygamia, itself from polygamos ("often married")," from polys ("many") + gamos ("marriage"). Relates to modern prefix & suffix poly- + -gamy

Examples

Comments

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  • Polygamy is out of favour in my circles, Toronto Canada. It is completely replaced with "Polyamory".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyamory

    "Polyamory is a less specific term than polygamy, the practice or condition of having more than one spouse. (The majority of polygamous cultures are traditionally polygynous, where one husband has multiple wives. Polyandrous societies, in which one wife has multiple husbands, are less common but do exist.12) Marriage is not a requirement in polyamorous relationships. The "knowledge and consent of all partners concerned"13 is a defining characteristic of polyamorous relationships. Distinguishing polyamory from other forms of non-monogamy (e.g., "cheating") is an ideology that openness, goodwill, truthful communication, and ethical behavior should prevail among all the parties involved.1415"

    May 28, 2015