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noun, col·o·ny \ˈkä-lə-nē\

Simple Definition of colony

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of colony

plural colonies

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 :  a distinguishable localized population within a species <a colony of termites>

  3. 3 a :  a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium b :  the aggregation of zooids of a compound animal

  4. 4 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

  5. 5 :  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 in a sentence

  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

COLONY Defined for Kids


noun col·o·ny \ˈkä-lə-nē\

Definition of colony for Students

plural colonies

  1. 1 :  a distant territory belonging to or under the control of a nation

  2. 2 :  a group of people sent out by a government to a new territory

  3. 3 :  a group of living things of one kind living together <a colony of ants>

  4. 4 :  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\

Medical Definition of colony

plural colonies

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

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