Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

July 5, 2006

"Polyamory" Enters Dictionary

Associated Press

At last! The word "polyamory" has entered a major dictionary, and about time too. It also got picked for mention in an AP news story about the dictionary's new edition, along with "manga," "ringtone," and "supersize":

Following is a partial list of new words and their definitions being entered into this year's edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary....

Polyamory: The state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time.

Is this really the first dictionary entry? (Wikipedia doesn't count.) Apparently so; the Macmillan English Dictionary presented this informative essay on the topic in its "Word of the Week" earlier this year (2006), apparently on Valentine's Day week:

...Though there is evidence of usage as far back as the 1960s, the word was popularised in the early nineties by US poet Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, who used it in a 1990 article entitled "A Bouquet of Lovers." In 1999, Zell-Ravenheart was allegedly asked by the editor of the Oxford English Dictionary to provide a definition of polyamory, which she defined as:

“The practice, state or ability of having more than one sexual loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.”

However, unlike the related term polygamy (having more than one husband or wife), the word polyamory and its derivatives are yet to be formally recorded in a dictionary.

Read the whole article.

Added later: Then on September 14, 2006, the Oxford English Dictionary FINALLY added "polyamory" (and -ous and -ist), via its ongoing revision and supplement series (see http://www.oed.com/help/updates/pleb-Pomak.html .) This makes the word as officially a part of the English language as you can get!



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