bigamy, n.

1. The act of marrying one person while legally married to another. • Bigamy is distinct from adultery. It is a criminal offense if it is committed knowingly. In 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the government was not constitutionally prohibited from banning Mormon polygamy. Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. (8 Otto) 145 (1878). [Cases: Bigamy

1. C.J.S. Bigamy §§ 2–6, 8.]

2. Eccles. law. The act of marrying a widow or widower, or a divorced person. • Sense 2 is valid even under modern ecclesiastical law, but it is not an offense, only a bar to entering holy orders. — Also termed sequential marriage. Cf. POLYGAMY; MONOGAMY; ADULTERY. — bigamist, n.

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