Definition of colonialism
1 : the quality or state of being colonial
2 : something characteristic of a colony
3a : control by one power over a dependent area or people the colonialism of the British Empireb : a policy advocating or based on such control Colonialism was brought to an end in the country.
colonialistplay \kə-ˈlō-nē-ə-list, -nyə-list\ noun or adjective
colonialisticplay \kə-ˌlō-nē-ə-ˈli-stik, -nyə-ˈli-\ adjective
Recent Examples of colonialism from the Web
Now, Kenyans of Indian and Pakistani descent, many of whose forebears helped build the nation and fight colonialism but who have often been secluded from mainstream Kenyan life, are demanding official recognition for the first time.
Except to say, if this defensive stuff about colonialism were really true, nobody would have ever written any innovative science fiction outside the metropolitan centers of Paris, London, and New York City.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colonialism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of colonialism
First Known Use: 1864
COLONIALISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of colonialism for English Language Learners
: control by one country over another area and its people
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