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


associate, confrere (also confrère), coworker

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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

After my Globe colleague and friend Nick Cafardo died suddenly during spring training, Ortiz arrived at camp a few weeks later talking loud behind his designer sunglasses and hugging everybody. Peter Abraham,, "I’ve seen firsthand why people in the Dominican Republic adore David Ortiz," 10 June 2019 That oooooohhhhhhhhh is what Davis and his colleagues at Vonnen have spent the last three years developing. Alex Davies, WIRED, "A Very Fast Spin Through the Hills in a Hybrid Porsche 911," 10 June 2019 In 2016 Sheth and his colleagues first toured the raw building, which is one of three with a similar massing and size that made up the historic L.A. Terminal Market, now Row DTLA. Jessica Ritz,, "The Manufactory: A new culinary anchor in the Arts District," 10 June 2019 Liberal justices sensed a degree of hypocrisy in their conservative colleagues' willingness to jettison a 1979 decision so easily. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Conservative gains at Supreme Court leading to anger, frustration and 'peeks behind the curtain'," 9 June 2019 So his colleagues laughed when Alabama Rep. Jeremy Gray – a former North Carolina State and Canadian Football League defensive back -- introduced a bill that would allow schools, under certain conditions, to hold yoga classes. J.d. Crowe |,, "Alabama’s official yoga pose," 9 June 2019 The latest reduction was reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by Laura Hendriks of ETH Zurich and her colleagues. The Economist, "Researchers find a way to use minute samples to detect forged paintings," 8 June 2019 The new confluence of disciplines has the potential to substantially improve the key relationships that make up our work experience, from a person’s relationship with their work, their manager, their colleagues — and the organization itself. Doug Claffey, Indianapolis Star, "Top Workplaces 2019: How to harness technology to help your workplace culture," 8 June 2019 Laura Dudnick, a spokeswoman for the school district, said the district is bound by the California education code that requires teachers to pay for their own subs for 100 days before using donated sick days from their colleagues. Heather Knight,, "‘It’s so crazy:’ Lowell teacher docked pay while undergoing liver transplant," 7 June 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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Statistics for colleague

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colleague

The first known use of colleague was circa 1533

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More Definitions for colleague



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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