polygamy

noun
po·lyg·a·my | \ pə-ˈli-gə-mē \

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 \ noun
polygamize \pə-ˈli-gə-ˌmīz \ intransitive verb

Examples of polygamy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The maximum sentence for polygamy under the region's criminal code is five years in prison. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "2 men with 29 wives and 160 children between them sentenced to house arrest following polygamy conviction," 28 June 2018 Two leaders of a fundamentalist Mormon sect who between them have 29 wives and 160 children were sentenced to house arrest on Tuesday after being convicted of polygamy. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "2 men with 29 wives and 160 children between them sentenced to house arrest following polygamy conviction," 28 June 2018 Women here have long had the right to divorce and gain custody of their children, and polygamy was abolished the year after the country became independent in 1956. Lilia Blaise, New York Times, "‘I Can Finally Dream’: Tunisia Expands Protection for Battered Women," 12 May 2018 Although the public wanted something to be done about polygamy, the images of women and crying children being rounded up were too much to bear. John D'anna, azcentral, "Think child separations are unprecedented? Here are 3 heartbreaking examples from history," 21 June 2018 Smith, who implemented practices that were racially inclusive, was killed by a mob who opposed the Mormom church and its teachings, including polygamy and racial inclusion, in Illinois in 1844. Mica Mcgriggs, Teen Vogue, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Celebrated the 40-Year Anniversary of the Lifted Ban Against Black Members," 11 July 2018 Shaffer’s has said that his beliefs – including marrying children, polygamy and the impending end of the world – came to him directly from God on June 22, 2015. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "Utah cult leader who wanted to have kids with 8-year-old 'bride' sentenced to 15 years," 28 June 2018 Controversial former Mormon policies involving polygamy and second-class status for blacks — and how those views evolved — are also examined as examples of the church’s potential to adjust to the times. Gary Goldstein, latimes.com, "Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds challenges the Mormon Church on LGBTQ rights in documentary 'Believer'," 14 June 2018 Partly in response to that revelation, the church published a series of essays online, addressing thornier parts of church history, like how DNA studies show Native Americans aren’t of Middle Eastern descent, or how polygamy really went down. Sarah Scoles, Longreads, "Meet the New Mormons," 8 June 2018

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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Statistics for polygamy

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polygamy

The first known use of polygamy was in 1538

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More Definitions for polygamy

polygamy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of polygamy

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

polygamy

noun
po·lyg·a·my | \ -mē \
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

polygamy

noun
po·lyg·a·my | \ pə-ˈli-gə-mē \

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 \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on polygamy

Spanish Central: Translation of polygamy

Nglish: Translation of polygamy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polygamy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polygamy

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