polygyny

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek πολύ (polú, many) + γυνή (gunḗ, woman, wife); synchronically, poly- +‎ -gyny.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /pəˈlɪdʒɪnɪ/

Noun[edit]

polygyny (countable and uncountable, plural polygynies)

  1. The state or practice of having several wives at the same time; plurality of wives; marriage to several wives.
    Herbert Spencer (1883) The Principles of Sociology, page 685: “We may infer that in most cases where polygyny exists, monogamy co-exists to a greater extent, and in all other cases to a considerable extent.”
  2. The condition of an ant colony that has multiple egg-laying queens.

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