col·​league | \ ˈkä-(ˌ)lēg How to pronounce colleague (audio) \

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

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Other Words from colleague

colleagueship \ ˈkä-​(ˌ)lēg-​ˌship How to pronounce colleagueship (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for colleague


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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."

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
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Recent Examples on the Web Trump singled out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues, but some Republican Senators have shown interest in hearing from additional witnesses. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "‘I got ZERO fairness’: Trump says Schumer doesn’t deserve impeachment witnesses because of House process," 20 Jan. 2020 From friends and colleagues and people on social media and people who began to see the world through him, who began to look at themselves in new ways because of Doug Barnes. John Archibald |, al, "Homewood man gave city a gift," 19 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, Powell’s star power with the American public discomfited his administration colleagues and conservative activists outside government. Heather Hurlburt, Washington Post, "Dick Cheney and Colin Powell: A contentious friendship and a world-defining debate," 17 Jan. 2020 The film also features interviews with Bill Clinton, friends, colleagues and more, to paint what Burstein called an intimate portrait of Clinton. oregonlive, "Hillary Clinton on new Hulu documentary, and reactions to her: ‘I was this lightning rod’," 17 Jan. 2020 Only 18% will run an idea past colleagues and friends. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "A survey of 20,000 creatives suggests brainstorming is a giant waste of time," 15 Jan. 2020 Since Aschoff's death was announced, tributes have been pouring in from colleagues and sports stars who worked with him. Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Edward Aschoff, ESPN College Football Reporter, Dies at 34," 25 Dec. 2019 His viewing service was standing room only, his mother said, and a vigil held at the Catonsville Y saw current and former Y colleagues and parents turn out to share stories about Taylor’s life. Taylor Deville,, "'He made the world a better place’: Jordan Taylor memorial fund receives over $10,000 in donations in 10 days," 9 Dec. 2019 Now, they are governed by similar rules as their health sciences colleagues and share outside income above $40,000 with their program. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, "Medical Professors are Supposed to Share Their Outside Income With the University of California. But Many Don’t.," 6 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of colleague

circa 1533, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for colleague

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

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Time Traveler for colleague

Time Traveler

The first known use of colleague was circa 1533

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Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colleague.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for colleague


How to pronounce colleague (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of colleague

somewhat formal : a person who works with you : a fellow worker


col·​league | \ ˈkä-ˌlēg How to pronounce colleague (audio) \

Kids Definition of colleague

: an associate in a profession : a fellow worker

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Comments on colleague

What made you want to look up colleague? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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