colonialism

noun
co·​lo·​nial·​ism | \ kə-ˈlō-nē-ə-ˌli-zəm, -nyə-ˌli-\

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 Empire
b : a policy advocating or based on such control Colonialism was brought to an end in the country.

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Other Words from colonialism

colonialist \ kə-​ˈlō-​nē-​ə-​list , -​nyə-​list \ noun or adjective
colonialistic \ kə-​ˌlō-​nē-​ə-​ˈli-​stik , -​nyə-​ˈli-​ \ adjective

Examples of colonialism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For the leaders of impoverished countries that have emerged out of colonialism, the combination of authoritarian rule and economic progress has proved enticing. Margaret Macmillan, WSJ, "1989: The Year of Unfulfilled Hopes," 28 Dec. 2018 Franklin Roosevelt, scion of New York’s upper crust, opposed the colonialism that Churchill felt privileged to defend. Jonathan W. Jordan, WSJ, "‘The Kremlin Letters’ and ‘The Allies’ Review: The View From the Summit," 30 Nov. 2018 White colonialism stripped natives from virtually every land the world over. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "Megyn Kelly's "Blackface" Comments Reveal a Larger Truth About Appropriation," 30 Oct. 2018 And the legacy of that colonialism still pervades science today. Rohan Deb Roy, Smithsonian, "Science Still Bears the Fingerprints of Colonialism," 10 Apr. 2018 This way of seeing the West reproduces the iconography of settler colonialism. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "National Geographic’s November cover falls back on a racist cliché," 1 Nov. 2018 Syhabout was born in northeast Thailand in the Lao-majority region of Isan, which was historically part of the Lan Xang Kingdom, the pre-French colonialism precursor of Laos. NBC News, "This Michelin chef came to the U.S. as a refugee. Now, he's living the American Dream.," 22 Jan. 2018 Kuti was despised by Nigeria's military rulers for his controversial songs that mocked corrupt officials, criticized colonialism and encouraged Nigerians to question their leaders' lavish spending. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "Macron loosens up trip to Nigeria with visit to legendary Lagos nightclub," 4 July 2018 In Puerto Rico, that strategy works in collaboration with systemic, long-standing colonialism. Jhoni Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Puerto Rico's Recovery Efforts Continue a Half Year After Hurricane Maria," 16 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of colonialism

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colonialism

see colony

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for colonialism

The first known use of colonialism was in 1864

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More Definitions for colonialism

colonialism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of colonialism

: control by one country over another area and its people

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More from Merriam-Webster on colonialism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with colonialism

Britannica English: Translation of colonialism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about colonialism

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