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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.
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.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
I come from a polygynous family and my father was not keen on education.
For example, Roth writes of his and colleague Xiaolin Xing's discussion of an amazing case of early trading in which a polygynous Aboriginal Australian tribe matched newborn boys with the future daughters of newborn girls.
Distribution of chewing lice upon the polygynous peacock Pavo cristatus.
Per the 2009 Malian census, 41.8% of married women were in a polygynous marriage compared to 29.7% of married men (26).
(1) They embodied the political importance of polygynous marriage under the pre-1932 absolute monarchy.
Type of marriage--Was put into two categories: monogamous and polygynous using the variable 'number of other wives'.
Unsurprisingly, her motive is more sinister but trust women in a polygynous home to react when there's a collective threat.
Highly polygynous, males will mate with any willing female that enters his domain.
In her new book, Empress of the East, historian Leslie Peirce attempts a chronicle of the palace, this time filtered through the life of Siileyman's longtime companion and wife, Roxelana, who was referred to at the time as the "slave woman from Russia." According to Peirce, "It was Roxelana who transformed the imperial harem from a residence for women of the dynasty into an institution that wielded political influence." Most significantly, she "shattered tradition by creating a nuclear family in a polygynous world"; in other words, Roxelana was the first Ottoman concubine to marry her master, and she became a copilot of sorts with the great military commander.
Furthermore, it is usually impossible to know (i) whether a young/subadult/male/female has been preyed upon (body mass is normally quite different in different age classes and sexes, especially of polygynous ungulates); (ii) whether a predator scavenged from a carcass already partly eaten by other carnivores or from its own kill; (iii) whether it fed alone or with conspecifics, e.g.
As men like Nabeel have come to acknowledge their infertility problems and seek treatment, they have helped to lighten the heavy load once carried by their wives: The scrutiny from in-laws, the social ostracism, the threats of divorce or polygynous remarriage.
Polygynous context is required to make sense of the parallel drawn in Q 2.223 between marriage and the attentions apportioned by the farmer to different fields and their crops: "The farmer must rotate his crops as the Muslim must vary his attentions and favors, including sexual attentions among his wives."