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

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Examples of monogamy in a Sentence

young couples who practice monogamy Monogamy is common among birds.
Recent Examples on the Web Malina, who uses they/them pronouns, had recently gotten out of an open relationship and was seeking monogamy. Anying Guo, Washington Post, "This Instagram account became wildly popular for its queer personal ads — and now it’s a dating app," 27 Dec. 2019 At the end of the day, Meyers believes the essence of a wedding is the same no matter what the couple believes in terms of monogamy. New York Times, "Happily, Ever Open," 2 Oct. 2019 For many people, traditional monogamy just isn't their ideal situation, and that's okay. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Ansel Elgort Wants to Fall in Love With People Other Than Girlfriend Violetta Komyshan," 1 Oct. 2019 For penguins, monogamy of any sort is convenient and necessary: One partner can hatch the chick while the other forages for food. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A gay penguin couple adopted an egg in a Berlin zoo," 13 Aug. 2019 Kanye West’s recent few releases staged psychodramas about monogamy and aging. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Chance the Rapper Wants You to Get Married," 30 July 2019 Perhaps the most famous member of Boas’s anthropological circle was Margaret Mead, who wrote prolifically from the 1920s until the 1970s, relating anthropology to contemporary issues such as monogamy and teenage rebellion. Rachel Newcomb, Washington Post, "The social scientists who transformed how we think about race and gender," 16 Aug. 2019 An Anthology, coined terms for two types of monogamy: reflexive and radical. Zachary Zane, Allure, "Being in a Polyamorous Relationship Prepared Me for Monogamy," 17 June 2019 And is monogamy — as explained by Vox on Netflix — no longer attainable or desirable? Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Marriage and Fidelity in the Internet Age," 6 Aug. 2019

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

1 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monogamy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for monogamy


How to pronounce monogamy (audio)

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of monogamy

Nglish: Translation of monogamy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about monogamy

Comments on monogamy

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to insert between existing elements

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