Definition of -gamous

1 : characterized by having or practicing (such) a marriage or (so many) marriages exogamous
2 : -gamic heterogamous

History and Etymology for -gamous

borrowed from Greek -gamos, adjectival derivative of gámos "marriage," derivative of gameîn "to marry," of uncertain origin

Note: Greek gameîn has been compared with an Indo-European etymon meaning "son-in-law" or "brother-in-law," hypothetically derived from a base *ǵemH-, *ǵm̥H- "marry," with various suffixes (Greek gambrós, Sanskrit jāmātar-, Latin gener, Albanian dhëndërr, Lithuanian žéntas, Old Church Slavic zętĭ, the latter two probably influenced by *ǵenh1- "give birth to"). However evidence for a verbal base alone, if it existed, would only be afforded by Greek.

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Cite this Entry

“-gamous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-gamous. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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