mo·nog·a·my | \-mē \

Definition of monogamy 

1 archaic : the practice of marrying only once during a lifetime

2a : the state or custom of being married to only one person at a time

b : the state or practice of having only one sexual partner at a time young couples who practice monogamy

c zoology : the condition or practice of having a single mate during a period of time Monogamy is common among birds.

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Other Words from monogamy

monogamous \mə-ˈnä-gə-məs \ or less commonly monogamic \ˌmä-nə-ˈga-mik \ adjective
monogamously adverb

Examples of monogamy in a Sentence

young couples who practice monogamy Monogamy is common among birds.

Recent Examples on the Web

The first three episodes — on monogamy, the racial wealth gap, and gene editing — are out this week. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs," 26 May 2018 The questions, first reported by the Florida Phoenix last week, stirred up a firestorm from people who wanted to know whether going to church and lifetime monogamy were prerequisites for regaining your civil rights in Florida. Scott Maxwell,, "In Florida, getting back civil rights means groveling to politicians," 11 July 2018 Screenshot after gif after meme of the legendary character spouting pithy anti-monogamy one-liners circulate the web. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Long Live Samantha Jones," 6 June 2018 Enforced monogamy is, to him, simply a rational solution. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, "Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy," 18 May 2018 The first season of the show, which debuted May 23, features 20 mini-documentaries about topics such as monogamy, cryptocurrency and the racial wealth gap — topics that are too big to be tackled in a three-minute YouTube video. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Vox Editor at Large Ezra Klein on Recode Media," 14 June 2018 Cassidy also begins to shift, rethinking her stance on monogamy and love. Camille Perri, Marie Claire, "This Pride Month, Remember: It's Okay to Take a While to Figure Yourself Out," 11 June 2018 Wonderful! [laughs] Explain how scientists and other experts often force traditional societal norms on animals, like heterosexuality, monogamy, or the nuclear family. National Geographic, "What You Think You Know About Animals? Probably Not True," 26 May 2018 For Hank, closetedness and clinging to heteronormative standards (eg. monogamy); for Hank's lover Larry, promiscuity. Albert Williams, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / Arts / LGBT / Theater A year before Stonewall, there was The Boys in the Band, the first successful mainstream play with all gay characters," 26 Mar. 2018

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 1

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

The first known use of monogamy was in 1612

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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 \
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 \ also monogamic \ˌmän-ə-ˈgam-ik \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on monogamy

Spanish Central: Translation of monogamy

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

Comments on monogamy

What made you want to look up monogamy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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