Definition of polygamous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /pəˈlɪɡəməs/


1Relating to or involving polygamy: polygamous societies
More example sentences
  • This happens routinely after marriage, and women from decimated kin groups are taken as wives in this polygamous society, without brideprice having to be paid.
  • These family compounds accommodate the large extended families and polygamous marriages that are common among the Maninka ethnic group.
  • Although I am no expert in the anthropology of wealth in polygamous and non-polygamous societies, I absolutely agree with Dr. Hartung's general points.
1.1 Zoology (Of an animal) typically having more than one mate.
Example sentences
  • Male California sea lions are polygamous, mating with many females.
  • All deer are polygamous, with males competing for females, but the manner in which each species approaches courtship has much to do with the nature of its environment.
  • Howler monkeys are polygamous, living in groups of usually 4-11 individuals, including one or more males.
1.2 Botany (Of a plant) bearing some flowers with stamens only, some with pistils only, and some with both, on the same or different plants.
Example sentences
  • The sections Hastati and Afroacetosa are composed of polygamous and gynodioecious species as well as a dioecious one, Rumex sagittatus, which lacks differentiated sex chromosomes.
  • these are what botanists term polygamous flowers, i. e., some of them are perfect, containing both stamens and pistils; some are male only; others, again, are female.



Pronunciation: /-ˈɡamɪk/


Example sentences
  • If the probability of multiple mating is random, by chance alone adults with more offspring sampled would be more likely to be detected as having mated polygamously.
  • Wolves, for example, are generally monogamous but also breed polygamously if the male is unrelated to the female and prey is plentiful.


Early 17th century: from Greek polugamos (from polu- 'much, often' + -gamos 'marrying') + -ous.

Words that rhyme with polygamous

bigamous, trigamous

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pol¦yg¦am|ous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.