One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband.Compare with polygyny
- ‘So maybe you want to democratise polyandry and polygamy, if that's what you want to do, that's fine, but I mean I'm not sure necessarily that the idea of multiculturalism actually is something that needs to be actively embraced.’
- ‘Polygyny and polyandry are not allowed, and it is forbidden to marry close family and kin members.’
- ‘From then on, polygyny (one man with several wives) replaced polyandry (one woman with several husbands) as a marital practice.’
- ‘Most marriages are monogamous, although fraternal polyandry (having more than one husband) is permitted and is even considered to be prestigious.’
- ‘One version of polygamy, polyandry - the marriage of a woman with more than one husband - is very rare.’
- 1.1Zoology A pattern of mating in which a female animal has more than one male mate.
- ‘Cichlids also employ polyandry, in which females mate with several males.’
- ‘We discuss our findings with respect to proximate and ultimate hypotheses regarding the causes and significance of polyandry in female birds.’
- ‘The polyandry of female Uta may be a strategy to obtain genes to produce both high quality sons and daughters.’
- ‘Most offspring were from monogamous pairs, but a few cases consistent with polygyny by males or sequential polyandry by females were also found.’
- ‘In the rare mating system called polyandry, the female breeds with several males, which then raise the offspring alone.’
Late 17th century: from poly- ‘many’ + Greek anēr, andr- ‘male’.
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