mo·​nog·​a·​mous mə-ˈnä-gə-məs How to pronounce monogamous (audio)
variants or less commonly monogamic
: relating to, characterized by, or practicing monogamy : having only one mate, spouse, or sexual partner at one time
… the beaver has several qualities that endear it to people: it is monogamous and lives in a family unit; it is gentle and clean; it is absolutely industrious.Doug Hand
But for women who are not at risk for STDs because they are in mutually monogamous relationships, modern IUDs can be safe and very effective.Kim Painter
There are many kinds of infidelity, but here we are talking about a sexual infidelity in monogamous marriage or a relationship that is tantamount to marriage.Frank Pittman
monogamously adverb
Pairs usually mate monogamously for life … Vincenzo Penteriani et al.

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What is the Difference Between monogamous and Polygamous?

American marriage is by law monogamous; people are permitted to have only one spouse at a time. There are cultures with laws that permit marriage to more than one person at a time, or polygamy. Although the term polygamy may refer to polyandry (marriage to more than one man), it is more often used as a synonym for polygyny (marriage to more than one woman), which appears to have once been common in most of the world and is still found widely in some cultures.

Examples of monogamous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pisces thrive in monogamous relationships, and Elizabeth Taylor was famously married eight times, twice to Richard Burton. 19 of 49 Javier Bardem The Spanish actor was born on March 1, 1969. Andrea Wurzburger, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 Janelle and Meri Brown also ended their marriages with Kody, resulting in the 54-year-old now maintaining a monogamous relationship with Robyn, 45. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 23 Dec. 2023 Infidelity and deception are rife in monogamous relationships across society. Shon Faye, Vogue, 21 Dec. 2023 Mikita approached him to talk about Ferguson's character, Mitch, who was one of the first gay men in a monogamous relationship on network television. Jacklyn Krol, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 However, our relationship since has been monogamous. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 18 Oct. 2023 For the people who are in stable, monogamous relationships and are confident that their partners are similarly monogamous, one test should be enough. Vanessa Etienne, Peoplemag, 21 July 2023 Whether open or monogamous, all relationships are defined by rules. Tom Rasmussen, Vogue, 18 Sep. 2023 The best way not to get stuck with an app The advice from the pros is don’t be monogamous with any social media app. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monogamous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1770, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monogamous was in 1770

Dictionary Entries Near monogamous

Cite this Entry

“Monogamous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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