colonial

adjective
co·​lo·​nial | \ kə-ˈlō-nē-əl How to pronounce colonial (audio) , -nyəl\

Definition of colonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony
2 often capitalized : of or relating to the original 13 colonies forming the United States: such as
a : made or prevailing in America during the colonial period colonial architecture
b : adapted from or reminiscent of an American colonial mode of design colonial furniture
3 : forming or existing in a colony colonial organisms
4 : possessing or composed of colonies a colonial empire

colonial

noun

Definition of colonial (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a member or inhabitant of a colony
2a : a product (such as a coin or stamp) made for use in a colony
b : a product exhibiting colonial style especially, often capitalized : a house built in the neoclassical style of the American colonial period

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Other Words from colonial

Adjective

colonialize \ kə-​ˈlō-​nē-​ə-​ˌlīz How to pronounce colonialize (audio) , -​nyə-​ˌlīz \ transitive verb
colonially adverb
colonialness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for colonial

Synonyms: Adjective

gregarious, sociable, social

Synonyms: Noun

colonist, colonizer, frontiersman, homesteader, pioneer, settler

Antonyms: Adjective

nonsocial, solitary

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Examples of colonial in a Sentence

Adjective

The country was a colonial power. a colonial nation and its colonial empire The book describes life in Colonial America. an example of colonial architecture The port had been very important in colonial times.

Noun

They bought a Colonial on a quiet street. increasing tension between colonials and the mother country
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The museum was built in 1930 and is meant to mimic the colonial architecture — thatched roof cottages, wigwams, and more – of the 1600s. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "A Look at All the Places Where 'Hocus Pocus' Was Filmed 26 Years Ago," 24 June 2019 As authors Orin Starn and Miguel La Serna point out in their new history of the Shining Path, the guerrilla movement replicated a phenomenon familiar since colonial times: a white elite leading a brown fighting force. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 Varroa mites began attacking commercial honey bee colonies in the U.S. in the 1980s, jumping from an Asian variety of bees to the European breed that has been used commercially to make honey in this country since colonial times. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Honey bee losses highest in 13 years this winter, University of Maryland-led survey finds," 19 June 2019 Buried among these prominent Ethiopians is Sylvia Pankhurst, the British suffragette, writer, artist, and anti-colonial crusader. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The British suffragette who was crowned an “honorary” Ethiopian," 25 June 2019 The unusual use of coconut in the curry was brought back by Bengali laborers sent to the Malay Peninsula during British colonial rule. SFChronicle.com, "Our favorite cookbooks of 2019, so far," 21 June 2019 Many protesters wave the Union Jack, or the colonial Hong Kong flag, as a repudiation of Chinese sovereignty. Time Staff, Time, "Escalating Their Campaign Into a Push for Political Freedom, Protesters Return to Hong Kong's Streets," 21 June 2019 Bahama or Colonial Shutters: These shutters extend out from the top of a window, giving off an island or colonial look. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "How to Choose the Best Hurricane Shutters for Your Home," 7 June 2019 These undergarments only emerged during the colonial era due to British notions of propriety. Meara Sharma, Vogue, "Why I Am Taking the Sari Back to the Street," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amin’s aggressive populism Idi Amin came to power in 1971 after overthrowing the government of Milton Obote, the president who had presided over Uganda’s independence from British colonial rule. Richard Vokes, Quartz Africa, "A recently discovered trove of photos shows life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s troubled reign," 30 June 2019 The story will continue in colonial America as the Frasers build their new life on their namesake ridge. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "Outlander: How David Berry found 'closure' with Sophie Skelton at the end of season 4," 25 June 2019 Amin’s aggressive populism Idi Amin came to power in 1971 after overthrowing the government of Milton Obote, the president who had presided over Uganda’s independence from British colonial rule. Richard Vokes, The Conversation, "Thousands of recently discovered photographs document life in Uganda during Idi Amin’s reign," 25 June 2019 The colonial-era drafters of Hong Kong’s current law excluded the mainland from extradition because its courts could not be trusted to deliver impartial justice. The Economist, "The rule of law in Hong Kong," 13 June 2019 Far East Eats To experience Vietnamese cuisine beyond the ubiquitous bowl of pho, cruise the Mekong aboard the colonial-style Jahan riverboat. Alena Hadley, National Geographic, "Taste What's Cooking Across the Globe: 10 Edible Trips," 8 Apr. 2019 Ash from the volcano fell on Guatemala City and in the town of Antigua, a colonial-era city popular with tourists, as burning-hot lahar — a slurry of lava, rocky debris and water — gushed down onto the communities that dot the side of the volcano. Carolina Gamazo And Kate Linthicum, latimes.com, "Rescuers frantically dig through ash after Guatemala volcano kills at least 62," 4 June 2018 Japan is interested in investing in the Colombo port, as well as the undeveloped east coast port of Trincomalee, a colonial-era British naval base, Wickremesinghe said. Bloomberg.com, "Sri Lanka Premier Wants India and Japan Cash to Balance China," 27 Mar. 2018 In January, 2017, inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, a Buddhist shrine in Myanmar, a microphone picked up his muttered recital of a colonial-era poem (Kipling again), before the British Ambassador stopped him. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, "The Empty Promise of Boris Johnson," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colonial.' 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 colonial

Adjective

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for colonial

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colonial

The first known use of colonial was in 1768

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More Definitions for colonial

colonial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of colonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a colony
: owning or made up of colonies
: of or relating to the original 13 colonies forming the United States

colonial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of colonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a two-story house built in a style that was first popular in the U.S. during the American colonial period (before 1776)
: a person who is part of a colony

colonial

adjective
co·​lo·​nial | \ kə-ˈlō-nē-əl How to pronounce colonial (audio) \

Kids Definition of colonial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a colony
2 often capitalized : of or relating to the original 13 colonies that formed the United States

colonial

noun

Kids Definition of colonial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a member of or a person living in a colony

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More from Merriam-Webster on colonial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for colonial

Spanish Central: Translation of colonial

Nglish: Translation of colonial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colonial for Arabic Speakers

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