Definition of hypergamy in English:



  • [mass noun] The action of marrying a person of a superior caste or class.

    • ‘Hockings and Merchant collaborate in the final essay to examine hypergamy and hypogamy in pre-modern Kerala.’
    • ‘Family connections help here, and hypergamy (marriage into a higher class) for both men and women is very important.’
    • ‘For historical reasons, women in our culture practice hypergamy, the tendency to marry men of higher status than their own.’
    • ‘Owing to these rules, hypergamy, the marriage of a wealthy woman of lesser status to a man of superior status was not uncommon in the old regime.’
    • ‘All these strata tend to be endogamous or, in the south, observe the marital rule of hypergamy.’


Late 19th century: from hyper- ‘above’ + Greek gamos marriage.