exogamy

noun

ex·​og·​a·​my ek-ˈsä-gə-mē How to pronounce exogamy (audio)
plural exogamies
: marriage outside of a specific group especially as required by custom or law
exogamous adjective
or exogamic

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Marriage outside of a specific group especially as required by custom or law is exogamy. Exogamous groups sometimes even specify the group into which members must marry. Such groups are usually defined in terms of kinship rather than in terms of politics or territory. Exogamy is usually characteristic of groups that trace descent through either the maternal or paternal line only.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers believe their findings reinforce that women marrying outside their community, called female exogamy, was associated with Bronze Age societies. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 29 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exogamy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exogamy was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near exogamy

Cite this Entry

“Exogamy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exogamy. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

exogamy

noun

ex·​og·​a·​my ek-ˈsäg-ə-mē How to pronounce exogamy (audio)
plural exogamies
1
: marriage outside of a specific group especially as required by custom or law
2
: sexual reproduction between individuals (as of a particular species) that are not closely related
exogamous adjective
or exogamic

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