col·​ly ˈkä-lē How to pronounce colly (audio)
collied; collying

transitive verb

dialectal, chiefly British
: to blacken with or as if with soot

Word History


alteration of Middle English colwen, from Old English *colgian, from Old English col coal

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of colly was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near colly

Cite this Entry

“Colly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on colly

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!