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1. The condition or practice of having more than one wife at one time.
2. Zoology
a. A mating pattern in which a male mates with more than one female in a single breeding season.
b. The condition of having more than one queen. Used of an insect colony.

po·lyg′y·nous adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.polygynous - having more than one wife at a time
polygamous - having more than one mate at a time; used of relationships and individuals
References in periodicals archive ?
Effects of supplementary feeding on the offspring sex ratio of Kakapo: a dilemma for the conservation of a polygynous parrot.
The family structure in the Middle East has been described as extended, patrilineal, patrilocal, patriarchal, endogamous, and occasionally polygynous (Baraket, 1993), and patriarchal ideology and family structure have persisted for centuries despite the challenges posed by the modernization of Arab countries.
Large colonies of this species are probably polygynous (Gobbi et al.
31) According to the Malawi DHS conducted in 2010, 67% of women and 57% of men in the age-group 15-49 years were married or cohabiting, and 14% of women reported being in a polygynous union.
A detailed examination of two of the larger tumuli (N and T) from Andronikos's excavations allows the authors to put forward two possible social models: that the graves grouped together under this tumulus represent a polygynous, patriarchal kin group (as is found in later times in Macedonia); or, that some kind of Miinnerbund might have been in operation.
The Use of Personal Names in Respect of the Living-dead within Traditional Polygynous Families in Kwamambulu, Kranskop.
Polygynous mating behavior in the endangered Tehuantepec jackrabbit (Lepus flavigularis).
Through her analysis of global statistics, McDermott found that women in polygynous societies are exposed to higher levels of physical and sexual abuse, have greater numbers of children, are more likely to die in childbirth, have shorter lifespans, have lower levels of education, are more subject to sex trafficking and female genital mutilation, are treated less equally than men, and are more discriminated against under the law.
This species is polygynous, meaning each colony contains many queens, leading to unique caste interactions and colony dynamics.
The behavior by males was characterized as being consistent with those of a female-defense polygynous mating system.
Domestic relations in South Sudan are embedded in hierarchically structured polygynous households where a woman generally occupies a subordinate position to her husband and to her older co-wives.
Their colonies are polygynous, meaning they have multiple queens (as many as 40 per colony in the case of this species).