po·​lyg·​y·​nous | \ pə-ˈli-jə-nəs How to pronounce polygynous (audio) \

Definition of polygynous

: relating to or practicing polygyny polygynous species of birds

Examples of polygynous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The first is that in polygynous species, males are generally larger than females, because of the need to compete for access to females. James Ryerson, New York Times, "Book Review Newsletter," 5 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polygynous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of polygynous

1874, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polygynous

Time Traveler for polygynous

Time Traveler

The first known use of polygynous was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Statistics for polygynous

Cite this Entry

“Polygynous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polygynous. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on polygynous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polygynous

Comments on polygynous

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!