group marriage

group marriage

noun
(among primitive peoples) a form of marriage in which a group of males is united with a group of females to form a single conjugal unit.
Also called communal marriage.


Origin:
1895–1900

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
group marriage
 
n
an arrangement in which several males live together with several females, forming a conjugal unit

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

group marriage

the marriage of several men with several women. As an institutionalized social practice, group marriage is extremely rare; nowhere does it appear to have existed as the prevailing form of marital arrangement. Of the 250 societies reported by the American anthropologist George P. Murdock (1949), only the Caingang of Brazil had chosen group marriage as an alternative form of union; even there the frequency was but 8 percent.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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