- the practice or condition of having more than one wife at one time.
- (among male animals) the habit or system of having two or more mates, either simultaneously or successively.
- (among social insects) the condition of having two or more functioning queens in a colony.
- Botany. the state or condition of having many pistils or styles.
Origin of polygyny
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for polygyny
In fact, in such a social state, polygyny can only constitute an exception.The Sexual Question
Another variety of marriage that has been less common than polygyny is polyandry.Society
Henry Kalloch Rowe
That polygyny is better than polyandry may be concluded from its effects.
This polygyny, in turn, also finally recedes in favour of monogamy.
It is obviously nothing but a combination of polyandry and polygyny.
- the practice or condition of being married to more than one wife at the same timeCompare polygamy
- the practice in animals of a male mating with more than one female during one breeding season
- the condition in flowers of having many carpels
C18: from poly- + -gyny, from Greek gunē a woman
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
Word Origin and History for polygyny
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper