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
Still, Latin America has a tortured history of colonialism, repression and graft that has left many nations with weaker democratic institutions.
The book begins in the early 1800s and discusses the Hausa kingdoms that once dominated the region, the rise of the Sokoto Caliphate and the impact of British colonialism there.
Osman, who was born in Somalia, writes poetry about race, gender, displacement and colonialism.
A muddled mess caused in large part by colonialism.
Every night is a release of all these tensions that have accumulated throughout the day, throughout our lives, throughout hundreds of years of colonialism and racism.
Maps helped propel the depredations of colonialism, as Simon Garfield argues in On the Map.
But the notion that LGBTQ identities are a result of colonialism is an alternative fact; LGBTQ people have always existed on the continent.
This misperception—the colonialism, pillaging and thievery—has led to one unfortunate misapprehension: that people cannot be both African and LGBTQ.
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.
COLONIALISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of colonialism for English Language Learners
: control by one country over another area and its people
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up colonialism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).