col·​lo·​ca·​tion ˌkä-lə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce collocation (audio)
: the act or result of placing or arranging together
the collocation of atoms
specifically : a noticeable arrangement or conjoining of linguistic elements (such as words)
"To save time" and "make the bed" are common collocations.
collocational adjective

Examples of collocation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The collocation of them is not unusual. New York Times, 30 July 2021 The risk of these writers’ style, with their short chapters and darting insights, is randomness, and sometimes this book, whatever its thematic claims, seems to consist of what has come under the author’s eye, an arbitrary collocation. Charles Finch, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'collocation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see collocate

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of collocation was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near collocation

Cite this Entry

“Collocation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


col·​lo·​ca·​tion ˌkäl-ə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce collocation (audio)
: the act or result of placing together
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