big·a·my /'bi-gə-mē/ n [Medieval Latin bigamia, ultimately from Latin bi- two + Greek gamos marriage]: the crime of marrying someone while still legally married to someone else compare polygamy
big·a·mist /-mist/ n

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

noun unlawful marriage, illegal marriage, multiple illegal marriages, multiple spouses, marrying multiple partners, marrying multiple wives, marrying multiple husbands

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Knowingly being married to more than one spouse at once.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the crime of entering what would be – if it were not for a valid and subsisting marriage – a second marriage. A reasonable belief in the death of a spouse even without a court order may exculpate, for then the mens rea would be lacking.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The condition of having two spouses at the same time. A marriage in which one of the parties is already legally married is bigamous and usually therefore void. In most states, if the bigamy was intentional, it is also a crime.
Category: Divorce & Family Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 The crime of marrying a person while legally married to another. The second marriage is void.
2 In some states, the crime of cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex while legally married to another.
See also monogamy, polygamy.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

   the condition of having two wives or two husbands at the same time. A marriage in which one of the parties is already legally married is bigamous, void, and ground for annulment. The one who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage is guilty of the crime of bigamy, but it is seldom prosecuted unless it is part of a fraudulent scheme to get another's property or some other felony. Occasionally people commit bigamy accidentally, usually in the belief that a prior marriage had been dissolved. The most famous case in the United States was that of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel Robards. Ms. Robards' husband had applied for a divorce, but it had not been granted (it required legislative approval) at the time of her second marriage. She completed the divorce and then the Jacksons remarried. Jackson was embarrassed for life over his carelessness (he was a lawyer and a judge), which had hurt his wife's reputation. Having several wives at the same time is called polygamy and being married to several husbands is polyandry.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bigamy — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bigamy — (n.) state of having two wives or husbands at the same time, mid 13c., from O.Fr. bigamie (13c.), from Church L. bigamia, from L.L. bigamus twice married, a hybrid from bi double (see BI (Cf. bi )) + Gk. gamos marrying (see GAMETE (Cf. gamete)).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bigamy — ► NOUN ▪ the offence of marrying someone while already married to another person. DERIVATIVES bigamist noun bigamous adjective. ORIGIN Old French bigamie, from BI (Cf. ↑bi ) + Greek gamos married …   English terms dictionary

  • bigamy — [big′əmē] n. pl. bigamies [ME & OFr bigamie < LL bigamus < L bi , BI 1 + Gr gamos, marriage: see GAMO ] the act of marrying a second time while a previous marriage is still legally in effect: when done knowingly, it is a criminal offense …   English World dictionary

  • bigamy — n. to commit; practice bigamy * * * [ bɪgəmɪ] practice bigamy to commit …   Combinatory dictionary

  • bigamy — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. polygamy, unlawful polygamy, plural marriage, real bigamy, interpretative bigamy; see also polygamy . II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. polygamy, group marriage …   English dictionary for students

  • bigamy — [[t]bɪ̱gəmi[/t]] N UNCOUNT Bigamy is the crime of marrying a person when you are already legally married to someone else …   English dictionary

  • bigamy — /bigamiy/ The criminal offense of willfully and knowingly contracting a second marriage (or going through the form of a second marriage) while the first marriage, to the knowledge of the offender, is still subsisting and undissolved. The state of …   Black's law dictionary

  • bigamy — noun Etymology: Middle English bigamie, from Medieval Latin bigamia, from Latin bi + Late Latin gamia gamy Date: 13th century the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another • bigamist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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