Bigamy
Bigamy Big"a*my, n. [OE. bigamie, fr. L. bigamus twice married; bis twice + Gr. ? marriage; prob. akin to Skt. j[=a]mis related, and L. gemini twins, the root meaning to bind, join: cf. F. bigamie. Cf. {Digamy}.] (Law) The offense of marrying one person when already legally married to another. --Wharton. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Base declension and loathed bigamy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bigamy — big·a·my / bi gə mē/ n [Medieval Latin bigamia, ultimately from Latin bi two + Greek gamos marriage]: the crime of marrying someone while still legally married to someone else compare polygamy big·a·mist / mist/ n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of… …   Law dictionary

  • bigamy — (n.) state of having two wives or husbands at the same time, mid 13c., from O.Fr. bigamie (13c.), from Church L. bigamia, from L.L. bigamus twice married, a hybrid from bi double (see BI (Cf. bi )) + Gk. gamos marrying (see GAMETE (Cf. gamete)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bigamy — ► NOUN ▪ the offence of marrying someone while already married to another person. DERIVATIVES bigamist noun bigamous adjective. ORIGIN Old French bigamie, from BI (Cf. ↑bi ) + Greek gamos married …   English terms dictionary

  • bigamy — [big′əmē] n. pl. bigamies [ME & OFr bigamie < LL bigamus < L bi , BI 1 + Gr gamos, marriage: see GAMO ] the act of marrying a second time while a previous marriage is still legally in effect: when done knowingly, it is a criminal offense …   English World dictionary

  • bigamy — n. to commit; practice bigamy * * * [ bɪgəmɪ] practice bigamy to commit …   Combinatory dictionary

  • bigamy — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. polygamy, unlawful polygamy, plural marriage, real bigamy, interpretative bigamy; see also polygamy . II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. polygamy, group marriage …   English dictionary for students

  • bigamy — [[t]bɪ̱gəmi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Bigamy is the crime of marrying a person when you are already legally married to someone else …   English dictionary

  • bigamy — /bigamiy/ The criminal offense of willfully and knowingly contracting a second marriage (or going through the form of a second marriage) while the first marriage, to the knowledge of the offender, is still subsisting and undissolved. The state of …   Black's law dictionary

  • bigamy — /bigamiy/ The criminal offense of willfully and knowingly contracting a second marriage (or going through the form of a second marriage) while the first marriage, to the knowledge of the offender, is still subsisting and undissolved. The state of …   Black's law dictionary

  • bigamy — noun Etymology: Middle English bigamie, from Medieval Latin bigamia, from Latin bi + Late Latin gamia gamy Date: 13th century the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another • bigamist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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