po·​lyg·​y·​nous pə-ˈli-jə-nəs How to pronounce polygynous (audio)
: relating to or practicing polygyny
polygynous species of birds

Examples of polygynous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In particular in a polygynous population a few healthy males with good genes could give rise to most of the next generation, and so providing the balance of selection to the background mutational rate. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 18 May 2010 There are two modern models of polygynous societies, the African, and the Islamic. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 30 Jan. 2012 But with the rise of agriculture, societies tended to become more complex — and less polygynous. Rob Knell, Discover Magazine, 13 Apr. 2016 As any worthwhile polygamous male bustard should!Males of a strongly polygynous species consume more poisonous food than females. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2014 It is often stated that in most societies the ideal family system is for a polygynous household. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 8 Oct. 2010 In their natural habitats in countries such as Somalia and Ethiopia, hamadryas baboons form polygynous groups. Rebecca Giggs, The Atlantic, 6 May 2022 Wolverines usually occur in equal male and female populations across their habitat, but as polygynous carnivores, the males usually establish with one to three females in their territory. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 July 2021 Many animals such as lemurs, elephant seals or many types of fish, mate in polygynous mating systems. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polygynous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


polygyny + -ous

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polygynous was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near polygynous

Cite this Entry

“Polygynous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polygynous. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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