Hypogamy

What is hypogamy?

Marrying someone of lower status

Hypogamy is when a person marries down, which is when they marry someone who is lower in financial and/or social status. It is the opposite of "hypergamy" which is when a person marries up to increase social standing.

The "hypogamy" term dates back to 19th century India, but increased in popularity in the online dating world in the late-2010s. Hypogamous relationships typically involve a female marrying a male of lower status, but may also refer to a male marrying down.

Hypogamous relationships are often depicted in books, TV shows, and movies since they make for a compelling romantic story. In these examples, a person, typically a woman, who has one or more prospective suitors spurns them for the love of a less financially or socially attractive suitor.

Hypogamy is not as prevalent as it once was since social caste-like systems have largely been abolished. Instead of marrying for survival or to attain a larger dowry, a la Bridgerton, people can get married for other reasons, like love.

Example

"I don't think rom coms would exist without hypogamy."
Hypogamy tweet

Hypogamy tweet

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

Hypogamy definition

This page explains what the slang term "Hypogamy" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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