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[big-uh-mee] /ˈbɪg ə mi/
noun, plural bigamies.
Law. the crime of marrying while one has a spouse still living, from whom no valid divorce has been effected.
Ecclesiastical. any violation of canon law concerning marital status that would disqualify a person from receiving holy orders or from retaining or surpassing an ecclesiastical rank.
1200-50; Middle English bigamie < Medieval Latin bigamia (Late Latin bigam(us) bigamous + Latin -ia -y3)
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bigamy
  • bigamy is illegal almost everywhere for good reason.
  • The charges are related to underage marriages and bigamy.
  • The bigamy statute is sufficiently definite to discourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.
  • In addition, there are strong presumptions in favor of the validity of a second marriage and against bigamy.
  • She disclosed her story despite the humiliation of her husband's bigamy and her abandonment.
British Dictionary definitions for bigamy


noun (pl) -mies
the crime of marrying a person while one is still legally married to someone else
Derived Forms
bigamist, noun
bigamous, adjective
bigamously, adverb
Word Origin
C13: via French from Medieval Latin bigamus; see bi-1, -gamy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bigamy
mid-13c., from O.Fr. bigamie (13c.), from L.L. bigamus "twice married," from bi- "double" + Gk. gamos "marrying" (see gamete).
"Bigamie is unkinde ðing, On engleis tale, twie-wifing." [c.1250]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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