One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time.
- ‘Although polygamy is a common practice among Arab men, with as many as four wives allowed, most Palestinian men have only one or two wives.’
- ‘Despite the practice of polygamy and men's near-monopoly of religious offices, women have a comfortable social status as they are owners of the conjugal house.’
- ‘Polygyny (or polygamy; having several wives at one time), however, has been a prerogative in many societies.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Mpika is one district in which people still practice polygamy and wife inheritance.’
- ‘Although historically polygamy was practiced, the marriage system is now monogamous.’
- ‘Born in 1968 in Bamako, the country's capital, Sangare witnessed her mother and other women suffer under the accepted practice of polygamy, and she was determined not to be dictated to by men.’
- ‘We are told that Christians practiced polygamy for centuries after Jesus, and that it was not outlawed until the 19th century, and some Christian sects practice this even today.’
- ‘According to Vietnamese law, arranged marriage and polygamy are illegal.’
- ‘In 1904 church President Joseph F. Smith presented a second manifesto that disciplined those who continued to practice polygamy or perform plural marriages.’
- ‘The Utah-based Church in the late 19th century banned the practice of taking plural wives and ex-communicates members who practice polygamy.’
- ‘The combination of matrilocal residence and polygamy has produced the same effects that it has in the Comoros.’
- ‘One in ten women live in polygamous marriages, although the practice of polygamy was banned under the Civil Code of 1926 modeled on the Swiss Civil Code of that time.’
- ‘Few could afford polygamous marriages, although polygamy varies both between rural areas and urban centers, and between ethnic groups.’
- ‘Polyandry (multiple husbands) has recently been abolished; the practice of polygamy is legal provided the first wife grants her consent.’
- ‘Since polygamy is illegal in the United States, these marriage customs have created a serious problem in some immigrant households.’
- ‘Some wealthy Tuareg men practice polygamy (having more than one wife at the same time).’
- ‘After all, there is already a great deal of precedent since, unlike gay marriage, polygamy has been widely practiced throughout history.’
- ‘He has other children and wives - polygamy is openly practiced by immigrants in Paris.’
- ‘Despite Muslim sanctioning of polygamy, the custom was practiced in only one region of the country and currently is not practiced at all.’
- 1.1Zoology A pattern of mating in which an animal has more than one mate.
- ‘Mating systems characterized by restricted breeding seasons, male polygamy, and female monogamy are common among animals.’
- ‘For example, species without care or with uniparental care are expected to show higher levels of polygamy than do species with biparental care.’
- ‘Northern Mockingbirds are typically monogamous, but polygamy does occur.’
- ‘Evening Grosbeaks are generally monogamous, although when there is an unusually plentiful food supply, polygamy can occur.’
- ‘While Short-eared Owls are typically monogamous, they form loose colonies and some polygamy may occur.’
- 1.2Botany The condition of bearing some flowers with stamens only, some with pistils only, and some with both, on the same or different plants.
- ‘In plants, polygamy means the co-occurrence and function of monosexual and bisexual individuals in a population.’
- ‘Circumstances show that matrimony is something good for people, and circumstances likewise justify polygamy for plants and animals.’
Mid 16th century: from French polygamie, via late Latin from Greek polugamia, from polugamos ‘often marrying’.
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