po·​lyg·​a·​my | \ pə-ˈli-gə-mē How to pronounce polygamy (audio) \

Definition of polygamy

1 : marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time — compare polyandry, polygyny
2 : the state of being polygamous

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Other Words from polygamy

polygamist \ pə-​ˈli-​gə-​mist How to pronounce polygamist (audio) \ noun
polygamize \ pə-​ˈli-​gə-​ˌmīz How to pronounce polygamize (audio) \ intransitive verb

Examples of polygamy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Utah women later lost suffrage under a federal law that targeted polygamy. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah women of color were part of fight for equal suffrage, historians say," 16 Aug. 2020 Noyce, who is 62 and a veteran of The Tribune’s copy desk, oversees its religion, polygamy and environment coverage, among other topics. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce resigns," 5 Aug. 2020 So few arrests are made for fireworks that the FBI, which tracks problems like moonshining and polygamy on its detailed list of offenses, does not give it a category. Jay L. Zagorsky, The Conversation, "Why are so many people lighting off fireworks?," 30 June 2020 For one thing, the church began phasing out polygamy, all but ending such weddings by 1904, according to the academic article. Washington Post, "After the U.S. outlawed polygamy, thousands of Mormons fled to Mexico. Nine just died there.," 5 Nov. 2019 Utah has a long and turbulent history with polygamy. Andrew O'reilly | Fox News, Fox News, "Polygamy debate returns to Utah capital, as lawmaker looks to reduce penalties," 9 Sep. 2019 The Sound Choices Coalition, a nonprofit organization opposed to polygamy, condemned the decriminalization of bigamy when the bill was passed in February. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Bigamy is no longer a felony in Utah," 12 May 2020 His story is baroquely weird from the outset, and gets weirder still, with more polygamy, lip-syncing, and gubernatorial politicking than the average true crime yarn. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Why Is Everyone Watching Tiger King?," 31 Mar. 2020 Republicans insisted that polygamy and slavery (Young believed in both) destroyed individual freedom, the former by trapping women in patriarchal plural marriages, the latter by holding blacks in bondage. David S. Reynolds, The New York Review of Books, "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do…," 24 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polygamy.' 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 polygamy

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for polygamy

Time Traveler

The first known use of polygamy was in 1538

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Statistics for polygamy

Last Updated

23 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polygamy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polygamy. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for polygamy


How to pronounce polygamy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of polygamy

: the state or practice of being married to more than one person at the same time


po·​lyg·​a·​my | \ -mē How to pronounce polygamy (audio) \
plural polygamies

Medical Definition of polygamy

: marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time — compare polyandry, polygyny


po·​lyg·​a·​my | \ pə-ˈli-gə-mē How to pronounce polygamy (audio) \

Legal Definition of polygamy

: the offense of having several and specifically more than two spouses at one time — compare bigamy

Other Words from polygamy

polygamous \ -​məs How to pronounce polygamous (audio) \ adjective

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