colon

1 of 4

noun (1)

co·​lon ˈkō-lən How to pronounce colon (audio)
plural colons or cola ˈkō-lə How to pronounce colon (audio)
: the part of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum

colon

2 of 4

noun (2)

plural colons or cola
1
plural cola : a rhythmical unit of an utterance
specifically, in Greek or Latin verse : a system or series of from two to not more than six feet having a principal accent and forming part of a line
2
plural colons
a
: a punctuation mark : used chiefly to direct attention to matter (such as a list, explanation, quotation, or amplification) that follows
b
: the sign : used between the parts of a numerical expression of time in hours and minutes (as in 1:15) or in hours, minutes, and seconds (as in 8:25:30), in a bibliographical reference (as in Nation 130:20), in a ratio where it is usually read as "to" (as in 4:1 read "four to one"), or in a proportion where it is usually read as "is to" or when doubled as "as" (as in 2:1::8:4 read "two is to one as eight is to four")

colon

3 of 4

noun (3)

co·​lon kȯ-ˈlōⁿ How to pronounce colon (audio)
kə-ˈlōn
: a colonial farmer or plantation owner

colón

4 of 4

noun (4)

co·​lón kə-ˈlōn How to pronounce colón (audio)
variants or less commonly colone
plural colones kə-ˈlō-ˌnās How to pronounce colón (audio)
1
: the basic monetary unit of El Salvador until 2001
2
: the basic monetary unit of Costa Rica see Money Table

Examples of colon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Roy de Souza’s journey into the world of biotech began after his wife was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017. Chase Clements, Miami Herald, 3 Apr. 2024 Ural Grant, who has lived in South Memphis for more than 35 years, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2019. Laura Coburn, ABC News, 3 Apr. 2024 Studies suggest that drinking water with elevated levels of nitrate over a sustained period can cause birth defects, thyroid problems and colon cancer. Laura Schulte, Journal Sentinel, 3 Apr. 2024 Couric’s relentless activism began after her husband, Jay, died in 1998 from metastatic colon cancer, leaving the TODAY Show host behind to raise two daughters under the age of five. Lipi Roy, Md, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 In its latest guidelines on colon cancer, the Cancer Network panel noted that not everyone with a risky gene variant gets sick from the drug, and that lower dosing for patients carrying such a variant could rob them of a cure or remission. Arthur Allen | Kff Health News, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024 Men and women are diagnosed with it at almost the same rate, says Couric, who lost her first husband to colon cancer. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 25 Mar. 2024 In her caption, Couric shared that her newborn grandson was named after her first husband, Jay Monahan, who died in 1998 at age 42 from colon cancer. Hannah Sacks, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024 But colon cancer is increasing in younger people, according to the National Cancer Institute. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek kolon

Noun (2)

Latin, part of a poem, from Greek kōlon limb, part of a strophe

Noun (3)

French, from Latin colonus

Noun (4)

Spanish colón, from Cristóbal Colón Christopher Columbus

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1888, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colon was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near colon

Cite this Entry

“Colon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colon. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

colon

1 of 2 noun
co·​lon ˈkō-lən How to pronounce colon (audio)
: the part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectum
colonic
kō-ˈlän-ik
adjective

colon

2 of 2 noun
: a punctuation mark : used chiefly to direct attention to what follows (as a list, explanation, quotation, or amplification)
Etymology

Noun

from Latin colon "part of the intestine," from Greek kolon (same meaning)

Noun

from earlier colon "rhythmic unit in verse," from Latin colon "part of a poem," from Greek kōlon "limb, part of a poem"

Medical Definition

colon

noun
co·​lon ˈkō-lən How to pronounce colon (audio)
plural colons or cola -lə How to pronounce colon (audio)
: the part of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum

Geographical Definition

Colón

geographical name

Co·​lón kō-ˈlōn How to pronounce Colón (audio)
city and port on the Caribbean Sea at the entrance to the Panama Canal in northern Panama population 224,000

More from Merriam-Webster on colon

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