noun col·league \ ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of colleague

: an associate or coworker typically in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office and often of similar rank or state : a fellow worker or professional


play \ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg-ˌship\ noun

colleague was our Word of the Day on 03/27/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of colleague in a Sentence

  1. Not since Cronkite's CBS mentor and colleague Edward R. Murrow lifted Senator Joe McCarthy by the skunk tail for public inspection had one TV broadcast reflected such a fateful climate change in public opinion. —James WolcottVanity FairJune 2003
  2. My colleague Gene Sperling and I were standing over my speakerphone, but for all Mario Cuomo knew we were on our knees. —George StephanopoulosNewsweek15 Mar. 1999
  3. Nineteenth-century naturalist Thomas Henry Huxley, a colleague of Charles Darwin, was the first to suggest that dinosaurs and birds were related. —Laura TangleyU.S. News & World Report6 July 1998
  4. … it gets noticed no more than an hour later by another colleague of mine, whom I've never met personally but know to be an art historian … —John BarthAtlanticMarch 1995
  5. A colleague of mine will be speaking at the conference.

  6. on her first day at work her colleagues went out of their way to make her feel welcome

Recent Examples of colleague from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colleague.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Which of the following words come from the same source as colleague: College,    legacy,    collaborate,    allegation,    collar,    relegate,    delegate?

It might be easier to guess if you know that the ancestor in question is legare, a Latin verb meaning "to choose or send as a deputy or emissary or "to bequeath." All of the words in the list above except collaborate (which comes from the Latin collaborare, meaning "to labor together") and collar (from collum, Latin for neck) are descendants of legare."

Origin and Etymology of colleague

Middle French collegue, from Latin collega, from com- + legare to depute — more at legate

COLLEAGUE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of colleague for English Language Learners

  • : a person who works with you : a fellow worker

COLLEAGUE Defined for Kids


noun col·league \ ˈkä-ˌlēg \

Definition of colleague for Students

: an associate in a profession : a fellow worker

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