[ 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polyandry

British Dictionary definitions for polyandry


/ (ˈpɒlɪˌændrɪ) /


the practice or condition of being married to more than one husband at the same timeCompare 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

Derived Forms

polyandrous, 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

Culture definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.