noun col·league \ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg\

Definition of colleague

  1. :  an associate in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office


play \-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 Wolcott, Vanity Fair, June 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 Stephanopoulos, Newsweek, 15 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 Tangley, U.S. News & World Report, 6 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 Barth, Atlantic, March 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

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

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

First Known Use: circa 1533

COLLEAGUE Defined for English Language Learners


noun col·league \ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg\

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

  1. :  an associate in a profession :  a fellow worker

Seen and Heard

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a brief usually trivial fact

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