A system of communal marriage supposed to have been practiced among some early peoples.
A theoretical early state of human society (as postulated by 19th-century anthropologists) which was characterized by the absence of the institution of marriage in any form, and where women were the common property of their tribe, and the children never knew their fathers. Synonym: "primitive promiscuity".
Origin of hetaerism
- From Ancient Greek ἑταῖρος (hetairos, “companion”) + -ism.