Definition of monogamy in English:



mass noun
  • 1The practice of marrying or state of being married to one person at a time.

    ‘Judaism has journeyed from polygamy to strict monogamy’
    • ‘A family is characterized by the principles of care for all children, faithful monogamy and equal regard between husband and wife.’
    • ‘Most contemporary Mormons oppose same-sex marriage, and they're also committed to monogamy.’
    • ‘Depending on personal experience, you'll be more prone to monogamy or polygamy.’
    • ‘Slovaks practice monogamy, and individuals have free choice in the selection of marriage partners.’
    • ‘Up to now, with all the changes in marriage, the one thing we've been sure of is that marriage means monogamy.’
    • ‘Basically, Hinduism teaches monogamy, which is marriage to one person at a time.’
    • ‘Through these characters, the film explores the three generations of the Dzuguda: from polygamy to monogamy and then to the dilemmas of cohabitation.’
    • ‘Doreen says culturally and economically, she has proved that polygamy more than monogamy, compartmentalises women into the class of minors.’
    • ‘Women, too, often preferred polygyny to monogamy (one man and one woman); they often helped their husbands find younger wives.’
    • ‘Sociobiologists would say marriage pattern - whether a society allows polygynous and monogamous marriage, or only monogamy.’
    • ‘Although there are polygynous marriages in some Oriente ethnic groups, monogamy is the norm.’
    • ‘It's an interesting take on monogamy, or polygamy, actually.’
    • ‘My polygamist tendencies wouldn't jive with your inclination for monogamy.’
    • ‘Polygyny is legal, and couples have the option of choosing between monogamy and polygyny when they enter into a civil marriage (although this is not necessarily binding).’
    • ‘Serial monogamy is a common marriage pattern and polygyny is practised by a few.’
    • ‘Traditionally, powerful leading men might marry polygynously, although after missionization, monogamy became the norm.’
    • ‘Senegal's 1973 family code obligates grooms to register their intentions at the time of the first marriage - opting for monogamy, limited polygamy with two wives, or full polygamy.’
    • ‘Is a cultural preference for monogamy over polygamy, even when expressed in conduct, more than a matter of opinion?’
    • ‘He notes that monogamy is the only marriage form truly compatible with the equality of men and women.’
    • ‘Where fixed property became the chief form of livelihood, monogamy, rather than polygamy, came to predominate due to the need to limit heirs and to discourage divorce.’
    faithfulness, loyalty, constancy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.
      ‘younger men were more likely to stray, saying monogamy was outdated’
      • ‘The last section covers the importance of abstinence in adolescence, issues of monogamy, sex education, substance abuse, and conflict resolution.’
      • ‘Rather than denouncing multiple partners in favor of monogamy, she denounces passion in favor of maternity.’
      • ‘In today's society, AIDS is a reality and as such, sexual monogamy should be the rule.’
      • ‘Most people I know tend to practice serial monogamy, even at the early stages of the relationship.’
      • ‘She believed in monogamy and saving sex for marriage.’
      • ‘Maybe if we could be honest about sex, we could be honest about marriage and monogamy and family.’
      • ‘They begin a tempestuous and deeply erotic relationship even though both are in middle age and have wildly different expectations about monogamy and marriage.’
      • ‘Who in their right mind believes that kind of message promotes abstinence and sexual monogamy?’
      • ‘Married or single, monogamy is a debatable subject that differs for each individual.’
      • ‘The more likely explanation is that developmental changes occurred that involved greater solidifying of romantic relationships, making stable monogamy more possible.’
      • ‘What, then, is the role of monogamy in sexual safety?’
      • ‘In practice, the process of negotiating safety can be complicated by underlying and often implicit presumptions about monogamy and fidelity.’
      • ‘Prevention campaigns focus on monogamy and fidelity.’
      • ‘For example, when sexual monogamy is equated with trust, insistence on using condoms can symbolize distrust.’
      • ‘The strangest hip hop album ever released features tracks that celebrate plus-sized women, marriage, monogamy and being a grown-up.’
      • ‘Of course, in the sexual celebration that was Paris in the early 1970s, monogamy didn't stand a chance.’
      • ‘The fact that more marriages fail than what actually succeed seems to show that marriage, and monogamy, is fast becoming an outdated lifestyle choice.’
      • ‘Marriage is as much a promise of fiscal partnership as of sexual monogamy.’
      • ‘Students choose among three sexual lifestyles: celibacy, monogamy, and free experimentation.’
      • ‘There's no congressional mandate saying a portion of prevention dollars must be spent on promoting fidelity or monogamy.’
    2. 1.2Zoology The habit of having only one mate at a time.
      ‘monogamy is rare in most animal groups, but is common among birds’
      • ‘In the population of Tasmanian native hens that we studied, monogamy was the most frequent mating pattern, followed by polyandry, with polygyny and polygynandry the least frequent.’
      • ‘Thus the expectations regarding the strength of sexual selection for polygyny, polyandry, and monogamy are fairly simple.’
      • ‘Social monogamy is the prevailing mating system in the vast majority of passeriform birds, but there is some variation among lineages.’
      • ‘Less than five percent of mammals practice monogamy, but it has been shown that in these mammals oxytocin is expressed in much higher concentrations.’
      • ‘Indeed, that male often initiates the nest, giving a strong impression of behavioral monogamy.’


Early 17th century: from French monogamie, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek monogamia, from monos ‘single’ + gamos ‘marriage’.