(noun) the offense of marrying someone while you have a living spouse from whom no valid divorce has occurred


(noun) the state of having two spouses at the same time

Source: WordNet® 3.1



bigamy (countable and uncountable, plural bigamies)

The state of having two (legal or illegal) spouses simultaneously.

(ecclesiastical law, historical) A second marriage after the death of a spouse.

Synonyms: deuterogamy, digamy


• biandry

• bigyny

Coordinate terms

• monogamy (monandry, monogyny)

• omnigamy

• polygamy (polyandry, polygyny)

Source: Wiktionary

Big"a*my, n. Etym: [OE. bigamie, fr. L. bigamus twice married; bis twice + Gr. marriage; prob. akin to Skt. jamis related, and L. gemini twins, the root meaning to bind, join: cf. F. bigamie. Cf. Digamy.] (Law)

Definition: The offense of marrying one person when already legally married to another. Wharton.

Note: It is not strictly correct to call this offense bigamy: it more properly denominated polygamy, i. e., having a plurality of wives or husbands at once, and in several statutes in the United States the offense is classed under the head of polygamy. In the canon law bigamy was the marrying of two virgins successively, or one after the death of the other, or once marrying a widow. This disqualified a man for orders, and for holding ecclesiastical offices. Shakespeare uses the word in the latter sense. Blackstone. Bouvier. Base declension and loathed bigamy. Shak.

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

3 February 2023


(verb) cause to continue in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., ‘keep clean’; “hold in place”; “She always held herself as a lady”; “The students keep me on my toes”

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