polygamy

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polygamy:

see marriagemarriage,
socially sanctioned union that reproduces the family. In all societies the choice of partners is generally guided by rules of exogamy (the obligation to marry outside a group); some societies also have rules of endogamy (the obligation to marry within a group).
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polygamy

plural marriage involving more than one partner of the other sex; can be either POLYANDRY OR POLYGYNY. Compare MONOGAMY.

Polygamy

 

(1) In animals, a relationship between the sexes whereby one male mates with several females (polygyny) or one female mates with several males (polyandry). Polygyny is characteristic of many mammals. In eared seals (fur seals, sea lions), the dominant male herds a harem of 15 to 80 females, to which several younger males attach themselves. Ungulates (goats, rams, horses, deer) also form herds consisting of a dominant male and several females and other males. Polygyny is characteristic in less marked form of some rodents and insectivores that do not form harems and herds, several birds (many Galliformes, Trochili, Limicolae), and some invertebrates (many insects). Polyandry in animals occurs less frequently; it is observed in some birds, including phalaropus, Turnix, Crypturiformes).

(2) In plants, the simultaneous appearance in the same species of plants of bisexual and unisexual flowers. Both types of flowers may be found on the same or on different specimens (in various combinations). Such plants, which include ash, maple, buckwheat, and snakeweed (Polygonum bistorta), are said to be polygamous.

Polygamy

Bluebeard
chevalier slays his six wives; seventh evades similar fate. [Fr. Fairy Tale: Harvey, 96–97]
David
had many wives. [O.T.: I Samuel 25:43–44; II Samuel 3:2–5]
Draupadi
princess won by Arjuna, brings her home as the wife of all five brothers. [Hindu Lit.: Mahabharata]
Islam
religion permits four wives. [Islam: WB, A:549]
Lamech
first man to have two wives. [O.T.: Genesis 4:19–20]
Mongut of Siam, King 9000
wives and concubines. [Thai. Hist.: Wallechinsky, 279]
Mormons
religious sect; once advocated plural marriage. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1833]
Muhammad
had a total of ten wives and ten or fifteen concubines. [Islam: Brewer Dictionary, 614]
Solomon 700
wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. [O.T.: I Kings 11:1–8]

polygamy

1. the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time
2. 
a. the condition of having male, female, and hermaphrodite flowers on the same plant
b. the condition of having these different types of flower on separate plants of the same species
3. the practice in male animals of having more than one mate during one breeding season