col·​league ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg How to pronounce colleague (audio)
: an associate or coworker typically in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office and often of similar rank or status : a fellow worker or professional
colleagueship noun

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, collus, Latin for "neck") are descendants of legare.

Examples of colleague in a Sentence

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
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
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
… 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
A colleague of mine will be speaking at the conference. on her first day at work her colleagues went out of their way to make her feel welcome See More
Recent Examples on the Web Conyers saw something and called out for one of his colleagues. WIRED, 28 Sep. 2023 The must-read (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times) My colleague Hayley Smith is a California water and drought expert. Terry Castleman, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 As our colleague John McCormick wrote recently, Reagan’s sunny optimism and confrontational stance toward Russia are at odds with GOP primary candidates who oppose additional aid to Ukraine and cast the current moment as a dark one for America. By aaron Zitner, WSJ, 28 Sep. 2023 Meta’s Zuckerberg unveils Quest 3 Meta is moving forward in its efforts to dominate the AR world with the new and improved Meta Quest 3, reports my colleague Jennifer Korn. Krystal Hur, CNN, 28 Sep. 2023 For inspiration, Leroux and his colleagues turned to a master of underwater suction—the octopus. Popular Science, 27 Sep. 2023 From Iowa, Harkin offers some reflections for his former colleagues to consider. Graham Underwood, Arkansas Online, 27 Sep. 2023 At the Wednesday ceremony, a portrait of Wolf Blitzer drawn by his CNN colleague Jake Tapper was auctioned off. Michael Schneider, Variety, 27 Sep. 2023 Instacart’s valuation plunges Instacart’s latest valuation is tens of billions of dollars below what the company was once worth just a year ago, reports my colleague Jordan Valinsky. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'colleague.' 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 French collegue, from Latin collega, from com- + legare to depute — more at legate

First Known Use

circa 1533, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of colleague was circa 1533


Dictionary Entries Near colleague

Cite this Entry

“Colleague.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


col·​league ˈkäl-ˌēg How to pronounce colleague (audio)
: an associate in a profession or office

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