noun col·o·ny \ˈkä-lə-nē\

: an area that is controlled by or belongs to a country and is usually far away from it

: a group of people sent by a country to live in such a colony

: a group of plants or animals living or growing in one place

plural col·o·nies

Full Definition of COLONY

a :  a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state
b :  the territory inhabited by such a body
:  a distinguishable localized population within a species <a colony of termites>
a :  a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium
b :  the aggregation of zooids of a compound animal
a :  a group of individuals or things with common characteristics or interests situated in close association <an artist colony>
b :  the section occupied by such a group
:  a group of persons institutionalized away from others <a leper colony> <a penal colony>; also :  the land or buildings occupied by such a group

Examples of COLONY

  1. Massachusetts was one of the original 13 British colonies that later became the United States.
  2. a former French colony in Africa

Origin of COLONY

Middle English colonie, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin colonia, from colonus farmer, colonist, from colere to cultivate — more at wheel
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Biology Terms

autochthonous, fecund, homunculus, phylogeny, substrate
COLONIES Defined for Kids


noun col·o·ny \ˈkä-lə-nē\
plural col·o·nies

Definition of COLONY for Kids

:  a distant territory belonging to or under the control of a nation
:  a group of people sent out by a government to a new territory
:  a group of living things of one kind living together <a colony of ants>
:  a group of people with common qualities or interests located in close association <an art colony>
Medical Dictionary


noun col·o·ny \ˈkäl-ə-nē\
plural col·o·nies

Medical Definition of COLONY

:  a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium


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