monogamy

[ muh-nog-uh-mee ]
/ məˈnɒg ə mi /

noun

marriage with only one person at a time.Compare bigamy, polygamy.
Zoology. the practice of having only one mate.
the practice of marrying only once during life.

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Compare digamy.

Origin of monogamy

1605–15; <Late Latin monogamia<Greek monogamía.See mono-, -gamy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does monogamy mean?

Monogamy most technically refers to the state or practice of being married to only one person at a time.

The word monogamy is also commonly used in a more general way to refer to the state of being in a romantic or sexual relationship with only one person at a time. Less commonly, monogamy can mean the practice of being married only once throughout one’s life.

In the study of animals, monogamy refers to the practice of having only one mate.

A person or animal that engages in monogamy can be described as monogamous. A person who practices or advocates for monogamy can be called a monogamist.

Example: Monogamy may be traditional in our modern society, but this hasn’t always been the case in cultures around the world.

Where does monogamy come from?

The first records of the word monogamy come from the early 1600s. It comes from the Greek monogamía, from mono-, meaning “single” or “one,” and -gamy, meaning “marriage.” The same root is used in the words bigamy (referring to the practice of being married to two people) and polygamy (referring to the practice of being married to more than one person at a time).

Though it has traditionally been associated with marriage, the term monogamy today commonly refers to the state of only dating or being in a sexual relationship with one person at a time. While monogamy is often seen as a traditional norm of human relationships, especially in Western cultures, not everyone shares this view. The phrase serial monogamy refers to the practice of being married several times in succession, or, more popularly, going from one monogamous, long-term relationship to another. A person who does this is sometimes called a serial monogamist. Such terms are often used in a critical way that’s perhaps intended to suggest that monogamy is unnatural or unlikely to lead to fulfillment.

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What are some other forms related to monogamy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with monogamy

What are some words that often get used in discussing monogamy?

How is monogamy used in real life?

Monogamy is perhaps most popularly used to refer to the practice of having a sexual relationship with only one person at a time.

 

Example sentences from the Web for monogamy

British Dictionary definitions for monogamy

monogamy
/ (mɒˈnɒɡəmɪ) /

noun

the state or practice of having only one husband or wife over a period of timeCompare bigamy, polygamy (def. 1), digamy
zoology the practice of having only one mate

Derived forms of monogamy

monogamous, adjectivemonogamously, adverbmonogamousness, noun

Word Origin for monogamy

C17: via French from Late Latin monogamia, from Greek; see mono- + -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

Medical definitions for monogamy

monogamy
[ mə-nŏgə-mē ]

n.

The practice or condition of being married to only one person at a time.
The condition of having only one mate.

Other words from monogamy

mo•noga•mous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for monogamy

monogamy
[ (muh-nog-uh-mee) ]

A form of marriage in which one man is united with one woman. (Compare polyandry and polygamy.)

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