When a man is married to three women at the same time, this is an example of polygamy.
An insect queen actually practices polygamy only one day, while for an alpha-male defending his harem is the very essence of both his status and polygamy.
Originally polygamy could work either or both ways, but civilisation generally forbids simultaneous husbands.
The Islamic form of polygamy is a husband with up to four wives.
Muslims and early Mormon communities have been known to practise polygamy.
Origin of polygamy
- French polygamie from Late Latin polygamia from Greek polugamiā polu- poly- -gamiā -gamy
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition