col·​an·​der ˈkä-lən-dər How to pronounce colander (audio) ˈkə- How to pronounce colander (audio)
: a perforated utensil for washing or draining food

Examples of colander in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web With your back to the sun, hold the colander over your shoulder, and the sun’s crescent shape will be projected through the holes. Nollyanne Delacruz, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 The same instructions apply, stand with your back toward the sun, and hold up the colander to the sheet of paper to see the eclipse. Laura Daniella Sepulveda, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2024 Holding up a colander can also project the partial eclipse onto the ground, as can looking at sunlight dappling through a tree’s leaves, or through your fingers aligned perpendicularly. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2024 Drain and leave the potatoes to steam dry in a colander. Hayley Maitland, Vogue, 30 Mar. 2024 Two Madam Blå colanders, also, and a pair of hospital crutches. Thomas Korsgaard, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 Add the diced carrots and continue to cook, stirring often, until the farro is cooked through and the carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the farro and season with salt, if needed, then drain in a colander (save any leftover cooking liquid in the refrigerator to use in a salad dressing). Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Dec. 2023 Transfer to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Jan Miller, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Mar. 2024 Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, tossing well, until cool to the touch. Christopher Kimball, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'colander.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English colyndore, probably modification of Old Occitan colador, from Medieval Latin colatorium, from Latin colare to sieve, from colum sieve

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of colander was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near colander

Cite this Entry

“Colander.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


col·​an·​der ˈkəl-ən-dər How to pronounce colander (audio) ˈkäl- How to pronounce colander (audio)
: a utensil with small holes for draining food

More from Merriam-Webster on colander

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