1. The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at one time.
2. Zoology A mating pattern in which a single individual mates with more than one individual of the opposite sex.
[French polygamie, from Late Latin polygamia, from Greek polugamiā : polu-, poly- + -gamiā, -gamy.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.