noun (1)
co·lon | \ˈkō-lən \
plural colons or cola\ˈkō-lə \

Definition of colon 

(Entry 1 of 5)

: the part of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum


noun (2)
plural colons or cola

Definition of colon (Entry 2 of 5)

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")


noun (3)
co·lon | \kȯ-ˈlōⁿ, kə-ˈlōn\

Definition of colon (Entry 3 of 5)

: a colonial farmer or plantation owner


noun (4)
co·lón | \kə-ˈlōn \
variants: or less commonly colone
plural colones\kə-ˈlō-ˌnās \

Definition of colón (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : the basic monetary unit of El Salvador until 2001

2 : the basic monetary unit of Costa Rica — see Money Table


geographical name
Co·lón | \kō-ˈlōn \

Definition of Colón (Entry 5 of 5)

city and port on the Caribbean Sea at the entrance to the Panama Canal in northern Panama population 224,000

First Known Use of colon

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

History and Etymology for colon

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about colon

Statistics for colon

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for colon


co·lon | \ˈkō-lən \

Kids Definition of colon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the main part of the large intestine



Kids Definition of colon (Entry 2 of 2)

: a punctuation mark : used mostly to call attention to what follows (as a list, explanation, or quotation)


co·lon | \ˈkō-lən \
plural colons or cola\-lə \

Medical Definition of colon 

: the part of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on colon

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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