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[pol-ee-an-dree, pol-ee-an-] /ˈpɒl iˌæn dri, ˌpɒl iˈæn-/
the practice or condition of having more than one husband at one time.
Compare monandry (def 1).
(among female animals) the habit or system of having two or more mates, either simultaneously or successively.
Botany. the state of being polyandrous.
Origin of polyandry
From the Greek word polyandría, dating back to 1770-80. See poly-, -andry
Can be confused
bigamy, polyandry, polygamy, polygyny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for polyandry
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for polyandry


the practice or condition of being married to more than one husband at the same time Compare polygamy
the practice in animals of a female mating with more than one male during one breeding season
the condition in flowers of having a large indefinite number of stamens
See polygyny
Derived Forms
polyandrous, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Greek poluandria, from poly- + -andria from anēr man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for polyandry

1767, nativized form of polyandria. Related: Polyandrist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polyandry in Culture
polyandry [(pol-ee-an-dree)]

A practice in which women have two or more husbands at the same time. A rare form of polygamy, polyandry is practiced by only a few cultures. (Compare monogamy.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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