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 All told, experts now think that true monogamy is only found in 7% of species, according to Cooke's book. Katie Hunt, CNN, 12 June 2022 Based on Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel of the same name, the story challenges those rules set forth by society that are centered around monogamy and sexuality. Dana Feldman, Forbes, 19 May 2022 YouGov in 2020, only 56 percent cited complete monogamy as their ideal relationship style, a 5 percent drop from 2016. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2022 Annaliese Beery, a behavioral neuroscientist with Smith College in Massachusetts and the University of California at Berkeley, studies vole monogamy in the wild and in the lab. Ashleigh Papp, Scientific American, 14 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

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

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Monogamy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for monogamy


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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