• synonyms


  1. the practice among Hindu women of marrying into a caste at least as high as their own.
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Origin of hypergamy

First recorded in 1880–85; hyper- + -gamy
Related formshy·per·ga·mous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hypergamy

Historical Examples

  • They have the same complicated arrangement of exogamy and hypergamy as the Khatris, and will take food from that caste.

    The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India

    R. V. Russell

  • The social results of hypergamy, when commonly practised, are highly injurious.

British Dictionary definitions for hypergamy


  1. anthropol a custom that forbids a woman to marry a man of lower social status
  2. any marriage with a partner of higher social status
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Derived Formshypergamous, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from hyper- + -gamy
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