[pol-ee-an-dree, pol-ee-an-]


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 confusedbigamy polyandry polygamy polygyny
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for polyandry

polygyny, bigamy

Examples from the Web for polyandry

Historical Examples of polyandry

British Dictionary definitions for polyandry



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 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

1767, nativized form of polyandria. Related: Polyandrist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

polyandry in Culture



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.