Monogamy is when you are married to, or in a sexual relationship with, one person at a time. Humans are one of the few species that practice monogamy. Well, sometimes.

  • Pronunciation: /mə'nɑɡəm/
  • English description: having only one spouse at a time
  • Synonyms: monogamousness
  • Chinese Translation:  一夫一妻制(yi4 fu1 yi4 qi1 zhi4)
  • Spanish Translation: la monogamia
  • ORIGIN: You may have heard of something called polygamy, which is having more than one spouse at a time. The difference between monogamyand its antonym, polygamy, lies in the prefixes. In Greek, poly means "multiple," while mono means just the opposite: "single." Therefore, if you are committed to one romantic partner at a time, you are in a monogamous relationship.


  • There was a time, just a few generations ago, when there was a broad societal consensus on the definition of monogamy.
  • Most of us who select monogamy in adulthood tend to choose mates who bear little relation to the passion provokers of our 20s.

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