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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The colonial-style, four-bedroom house with 2.5 baths was recently updated with a new roof, furnace and AC. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "COVID hasn't stopped the housing market, but good luck finding a home you can afford," 1 July 2020 Belgium’s king expressed regret for the millions of deaths and mutilations Congolese people suffered during his country’s colonial rule, in a historic first that was prompted by Black Lives Matter protests but stopped short of a formal apology. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "Belgian King Voices Regret for Colonial Violence in Congo," 30 June 2020 That was echoed by Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last British colonial governor. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "China’s campaign of ‘genocide’ could bring the U.S. and E.U. closer together," 30 June 2020 Definitely read Osayi Endolyn’s dissection of the New York Times’ latest story about Thai fruits, panned by critics for treating its subject with the kind of Orientalist disgust often associated with early colonial travelogues to the tropics. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Things you’ll probably overhear while dining at a restaurant during a pandemic," 29 June 2020 As monuments to Confederate and colonial leaders have been removed across U.S. cities, conservatives have expressed concern that Mount Rushmore could be next. CBS News, ""Faces of the conquerors": Trump trip to Rushmore draws fire," 25 June 2020 Growing up in Asia, I was surrounded by the colonial idea that success is defined by your proximity to the West. Nayantara Dutta, Quartz at Work, "With an emergency move, I’m working to find happiness outside of America," 25 June 2020 The white colonial revival style home was in disrepair and required a significant amount of work both inside and out. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "Crescent Hill home built in the 1930s by famed Louisville architect gets modern makeover," 25 June 2020 As monuments to Confederate and colonial leaders have been removed across U.S. cities, conservatives have expressed concern that Mount Rushmore could be next. Stephen Groves, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump trip to Mount Rushmore draws fire from Native American activists," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun France established the first permanent settlement in 1604, which eventually transformed into the influential colonial outpost known as New France. Amy Mckeever, National Geographic, "Canada Day marks the country’s birth—but not its independence," 1 July 2020 Meanwhile, regional authorities also promised history course reforms to better explain the true character of colonialism while the federal Parliament decided that a commission would look into Belgium's colonial past. Fox News, "Belgium dismantles statue of former monarch as king expresses 'deepest regrets' for DR Congo colonial abuses," 30 June 2020 In central Mexico’s colonial San Miguel de Allende, the corazón is both a city symbol and a ubiquitous souvenir meant to hang on your wall, sold milagro-covered, decoupaged with Frida Kahlo’s face or stamped out of tin. National Geographic, "From evil eyes to sacred hearts, a look at lucky charms around the world," 9 June 2020 His grandfather was a comprador, or business intermediary, for Jardine Matheson, the British trading house, in its dealings between China and colonial Hong Kong. Jonathan Kandell, BostonGlobe.com, "Stanley Ho, tycoon who built Macao’s gambling industry, at 98," 30 May 2020 Not helping matters is a history of often brutal Canadian colonial policies. Matthew Halliday/undark, Popular Science, "Inuit researchers are leading a scientific movement to understand life on the ice," 29 May 2020 Where to stay Start or end a road trip in Santiago, a city of more than 6 million where luxe high-rises tower over colonial-era markets. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "A 3-Day Road Trip Through Chile's Wine Country," 11 May 2020 Just last week, an appeals court considered the November ruling and upheld the Hong Kong lower court’s decision, finding that local authorities acted within their power by resurrecting colonial-era laws, including the mask ban. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Coronavirus pits anti-mask laws against public health," 15 Apr. 2020 The ruling follows challenges to the colonial-era law by activists who were emboldened after India’s Supreme Court struck down a similar law in 2018. New York Times, "Singapore’s Top Court Upholds Law Criminalizing Gay Sex," 30 Mar. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of colonial

Adjective

1768, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about colonial

Time Traveler for colonial

Time Traveler

The first known use of colonial was in 1768

See more words from the same year

Statistics for colonial

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colonial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonial. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for colonial

colonial

adjective
How to pronounce colonial (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on colonial

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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