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 The idea of life-long or serial monogamy is embedded in most cultures. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Willow Smith details her lifestyle on 'Red Table Talk': What you should know about polyamory," 28 Apr. 2021 But Cannon did state previously that monogamy wasn’t for him. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, "Nick Cannon And Abby De La Rosa's Baby Shower Was A Colorful Club-Themed Turnup," 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, "The Joy of Watching the Ospreys Return," 5 Apr. 2021 In fact, professional monogamy can be difficult for them. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Midheaven Sign Tells You About Your Professional Life," 4 Apr. 2021 There’s potential for the technology to reduce infidelity by allowing people to explore their fantasies or interact with others in VR without breaking the bonds of monogamy in the real world. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ, "How Tech Will Change Sex and Intimacy, for Better and Worse," 5 Mar. 2021 Because someone finds members of both genders attractive does not mean the person is incapable of monogamy. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Man’s bi-sexual past sows doubt in an otherwise solid relationship," 4 Mar. 2021 Bisexuals are also perceived to be indecisive and incapable of monogamy. Kirthan Aujlay,, "One Thing You Should Never Ask A Bisexual Person," 29 Oct. 2020 In place of kiddushin, which establishes monogamy and where the husband gives the wife a ring, Greenberg has both partners take vows to be exclusive to each other. Josefin Dolsten,, "A small but growing number of Orthodox rabbis are officiating same-sex weddings," 28 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for monogamy

Time Traveler

The first known use of monogamy was in 1612

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Statistics for monogamy

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monogamy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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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