Meaning of hypergamy in English:


Pronunciation /hʌɪˈpəːɡəmi/


mass noun
  • The action of marrying or forming a sexual relationship with a person of a superior sociological or educational background.

    ‘Family connections help here, and hypergamy (marriage into a higher class) for both men and women is very important.’
    • ‘All these strata tend to be endogamous or, in the south, observe the marital rule of hypergamy.’
    • ‘Hockings and Merchant collaborate in the final essay to examine hypergamy and hypogamy in pre-modern Kerala.’
    • ‘Owing to these rules, hypergamy, the marriage of a wealthy woman of lesser status to a man of superior status was not uncommon in the old regime.’
    • ‘For historical reasons, women in our culture practice hypergamy, the tendency to marry men of higher status than their own.’


Late 19th century from hyper-‘above’ + Greek gamos ‘marriage’.