AskDefine | Define monogamy

Dictionary Definition

monogamy n : having only one spouse at a time [syn: monogamousness]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A form of sexual bonding involving a permanent pair bond between two beings.


  • Catalan: monogàmia
  • Finnish: monogamia, yksiavioisuus
  • German: Monogamie
  • Romanian: monogamie


Extensive Definition

Monogamy is the custom or condition of having only one mate in a relationship, thus forming a couple. The word monogamy comes from the Greek word monos, which means one or alone, and the Greek word gamos, which means marriage or union. Serial monogamy is having no more than one sexual partner at a time but allows for multiple partners in a lifetime. In western culture serial monogamy is common; evidence of this is high divorce rates.


Mating system

main article Animal sexuality Monogamy is one of several mating systems observed in animals. The amount of social monogamy in animals varies across taxa, with over 90 percent of birds engaging in social monogamy but only 7 percent of mammals engaging in social monogamy. The incidence of sexual monogamy appears quite rare in the animal kingdom. It is becoming clear that even animals that are socially monogamous engage in extra-pair copulations.

Evolution in animals

main article Evolution of monogamy Socially monogamous species are scattered throughout the animal kingdom: A few insects, a few fish, a lot of birds, and a few mammals are socially monogamous. These species did not inherit social monogamy from a common ancestor. Instead, social monogamy has evolved independently in different species.


  • World Religions and Social Evolution of the Old World Oikumene Civilizations: A Cross-cultural Perspective

Related links

monogamy in Bulgarian: Моногамия
monogamy in Czech: Monogamie
monogamy in Danish: Monogami
monogamy in German: Monogamie
monogamy in Estonian: Monogaamia
monogamy in Spanish: Monogamia
monogamy in Esperanto: Monogamio
monogamy in French: Monogamie
monogamy in Galician: Monogamia
monogamy in Indonesian: Monogami
monogamy in Italian: Monogamia
monogamy in Hebrew: מונוגמיה
monogamy in Georgian: მონოგამია
monogamy in Dutch: Monogamie
monogamy in Japanese: 一夫一婦制
monogamy in Norwegian Nynorsk: Monogam
monogamy in Polish: Monogamia
monogamy in Portuguese: Monogamia
monogamy in Russian: Моногамия
monogamy in Slovak: Monogamia
monogamy in Serbian: Моногамија
monogamy in Swedish: Monogami
monogamy in Tamil: ஒருதுணை மணம்
monogamy in Ukrainian: Моногамія
monogamy in Chinese: 一夫一妻制

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

beena marriage, bigamy, common-law marriage, companionate marriage, concubinage, deuterogamy, left-handed marriage, levirate, leviration, love match, marriage of convenience, monandry, monogyny, morganatic marriage, picture marriage, polyandry, polygamy, polygyny, trial marriage, trigamy
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