mo·​nog·​a·​my | \ mə-ˈnä-gə-mē How to pronounce monogamy (audio) \

Definition of monogamy

1a : the state or practice of having only one sexual partner at a time young couples who practice monogamy
b : the state or custom of being married to only one person at a time
c zoology : the condition or practice of having a single mate during a period of time Monogamy is common among birds.
2 archaic : the practice of marrying only once during a lifetime

Examples of monogamy in a Sentence

young couples who practice monogamy Monogamy is common among birds.
Recent Examples on the Web Hand in glove with this new style of living was an interrogation of conventional monogamy. Jamie Hood, Vulture, 15 Dec. 2021 The most plausible psychological interpretation for the preoccupation with murder in Highsmith’s work might see killing as a sort of allegory of serial monogamy. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2021 When the researcher finally asks them about their monogamy, stilted laughter is the only answer. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 12 Sep. 2021 In fact, their on-and-off romance has always been a huge part of the series, showcasing just how rewarding, and complicated monogamy can be. Shannon Carlin,, 26 May 2021 The ring, a pink diamond the size of Affleck’s head, would go down in pop-culture monogamy history. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, 20 May 2021 The idea of life-long or serial monogamy is embedded in most cultures. David Oliver, USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 But Cannon did state previously that monogamy wasn’t for him. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 19 Apr. 2021 Even in the paradigm of long-term monogamy, the osprey stands out for its ability to travel thousands of miles and still retain this unshakable sense of home. Alexander Aciman, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of monogamy

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for monogamy

French monogamie, from Late Latin monogamia, from Greek, from monogamos monogamous, from mon- + gamos marriage, from gamein to marry

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The first known use of monogamy was in 1612

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Last Updated

18 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monogamy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for monogamy



English Language Learners Definition of monogamy

: the state or practice of being married to only one person at a time
: the state or practice of having only one sexual partner during a period of time


mo·​nog·​a·​my | \ -mē How to pronounce monogamy (audio) \
plural monogamies

Medical Definition of monogamy

: the state or custom of being married to one person at a time or of having only one mate at a time

Other Words from monogamy

monogamous \ mə-​ˈnäg-​ə-​məs How to pronounce monogamy (audio) \ also monogamic \ ˌmän-​ə-​ˈgam-​ik How to pronounce monogamy (audio) \ adjective


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