Definitions for: Bigamy

[n] the offense of having two or more wives or husbands living at the same time
[n] having more than one spouse at a time

Webster (1913) Definition: 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.

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.

See Also: marriage, matrimony, regulatory offence, regulatory offense, statutory offence, statutory offense, union, wedlock

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