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polyandry

[pol-ee-an-dree, pol-ee-an-]
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noun
  1. the practice or condition of having more than one husband at one time.Compare monandry(def 1).
  2. (among female animals) the habit or system of having two or more mates, either simultaneously or successively.
  3. Botany. the state of being polyandrous.
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Origin of polyandry

From the Greek word polyandría, dating back to 1770–80. See poly-, -andry
Can be confusedbigamy polyandry polygamy polygyny
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for polyandry

polygyny, bigamy, polyandry

Examples from the Web for polyandry

Historical Examples of polyandry

  • Polyandry must have been common at one time in southern India.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Polyandry is a survival of the group-marriage of the mother-age.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Polyandry, or the marriage of one female with several males.

  • Therefore, where polyandry is in the mores, women who comply with it are not unchaste.

    Folkways

    William Graham Sumner

  • What has monogamy or polygamy or polyandry to do with this matter?


British Dictionary definitions for polyandry

polyandry

noun
  1. the practice or condition of being married to more than one husband at the same timeCompare polygamy
  2. the practice in animals of a female mating with more than one male during one breeding season
  3. the condition in flowers of having a large indefinite number of stamens
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Derived Formspolyandrous, adjective

Word Origin for polyandry

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

Word Origin and History for polyandry

n.

1767, nativized form of polyandria. Related: Polyandrist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.)

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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.