Definition of monogamy in English:



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

    ‘Judaism has journeyed from polygamy to strict monogamy’
    • ‘Up to now, with all the changes in marriage, the one thing we've been sure of is that marriage means monogamy.’
    • ‘A family is characterized by the principles of care for all children, faithful monogamy and equal regard between husband and wife.’
    • ‘Doreen says culturally and economically, she has proved that polygamy more than monogamy, compartmentalises women into the class of minors.’
    • ‘My polygamist tendencies wouldn't jive with your inclination for monogamy.’
    • ‘Serial monogamy is a common marriage pattern and polygyny is practised by a few.’
    • ‘Is a cultural preference for monogamy over polygamy, even when expressed in conduct, more than a matter of opinion?’
    • ‘Women, too, often preferred polygyny to monogamy (one man and one woman); they often helped their husbands find younger wives.’
    • ‘Although there are polygynous marriages in some Oriente ethnic groups, monogamy is the norm.’
    • ‘Through these characters, the film explores the three generations of the Dzuguda: from polygamy to monogamy and then to the dilemmas of cohabitation.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Depending on personal experience, you'll be more prone to monogamy or polygamy.’
    • ‘Traditionally, powerful leading men might marry polygynously, although after missionization, monogamy became the norm.’
    • ‘It's an interesting take on monogamy, or polygamy, actually.’
    • ‘Most contemporary Mormons oppose same-sex marriage, and they're also committed to monogamy.’
    • ‘Slovaks practice monogamy, and individuals have free choice in the selection of marriage partners.’
    • ‘He notes that monogamy is the only marriage form truly compatible with the equality of men and women.’
    • ‘Sociobiologists would say marriage pattern - whether a society allows polygynous and monogamous marriage, or only monogamy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Basically, Hinduism teaches monogamy, which is marriage to one person at a time.’
    faithfulness, loyalty, constancy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The practice or state of having a sexual relationship with only one partner.
      ‘younger men were more likely to stray, saying monogamy was outdated’
      • ‘Married or single, monogamy is a debatable subject that differs for each individual.’
      • ‘In practice, the process of negotiating safety can be complicated by underlying and often implicit presumptions about monogamy and fidelity.’
      • ‘They begin a tempestuous and deeply erotic relationship even though both are in middle age and have wildly different expectations about monogamy and marriage.’
      • ‘In today's society, AIDS is a reality and as such, sexual monogamy should be the rule.’
      • ‘She believed in monogamy and saving sex for marriage.’
      • ‘There's no congressional mandate saying a portion of prevention dollars must be spent on promoting fidelity or monogamy.’
      • ‘Most people I know tend to practice serial monogamy, even at the early stages of the relationship.’
      • ‘What, then, is the role of monogamy in sexual safety?’
      • ‘The last section covers the importance of abstinence in adolescence, issues of monogamy, sex education, substance abuse, and conflict resolution.’
      • ‘Maybe if we could be honest about sex, we could be honest about marriage and monogamy and family.’
      • ‘For example, when sexual monogamy is equated with trust, insistence on using condoms can symbolize distrust.’
      • ‘Rather than denouncing multiple partners in favor of monogamy, she denounces passion in favor of maternity.’
      • ‘Who in their right mind believes that kind of message promotes abstinence and sexual monogamy?’
      • ‘Marriage is as much a promise of fiscal partnership as of sexual monogamy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The more likely explanation is that developmental changes occurred that involved greater solidifying of romantic relationships, making stable monogamy more possible.’
      • ‘Prevention campaigns focus on monogamy and fidelity.’
      • ‘Students choose among three sexual lifestyles: celibacy, monogamy, and free experimentation.’
      • ‘The strangest hip hop album ever released features tracks that celebrate plus-sized women, marriage, monogamy and being a grown-up.’
    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’
      • ‘Thus the expectations regarding the strength of sexual selection for polygyny, polyandry, and monogamy are fairly simple.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.