Meaning of group marriage in English:

group marriage


  • A system or situation in which each of the men in a small community is regarded as married to each of the women; also called communal marriage.

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, group marriage was regarded by many anthropologists as an early stage in the evolution of marital relationship systems. This system was however later shown to occur only rarely as an institutionalized social practice, although informal relationships of this type are found in some western societies.


Late 19th century; earliest use found in Lorimer Fison (1832–1907), missionary and anthropologist.