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The practice of marrying into an equal or more prestigious social group or caste.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a custom that forbids a woman to marry a man of lower social status
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) any marriage with a partner of higher social status
[C19: from hyper- + -gamy]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
hy•per•ga•my(haɪˈpɜr gə mi)
marriage to a person of a social status higher than one's own; orig., esp. in India, the custom of allowing a woman to marry only into her own or a higher social group.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.