col·​o·​nist | \ ˈkä-lə-nist How to pronounce colonist (audio) \

Definition of colonist

1 : a member or inhabitant of a colony
2 : one that colonizes or settles in a new country

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Examples of colonist in a Sentence

British colonists settled the area in the 18th century. over time the colonists began to sense that they were becoming a people unto themselves

Recent Examples on the Web

In the case of the colonists, that prize was mountains of diamonds or gold, or a quick passage to Asia. The Economist, "The tale of the “Lost Colony” is a chronicle of delusion," 7 June 2018 English colonists took the Africans, who came from what is now Angola, to properties along the James River. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "Historians challenge Northam’s ‘indentured servants’ remark," 11 Feb. 2019 Nonetheless, politicians often treat gambling much like colonists did: as a panacea, a quick and painless way to raise a windfall. Jonathan D. Cohen, Vox, "How lottery money helped build the United States," 24 Oct. 2018 After all, more than a year before any tea was tossed, Rhode Island colonists burned a British ship. Jennifer Mcdermott, Fox News, "Before the Tea Party: A forgotten rebellion in Rhode Island," 7 June 2018 After all, more than a year before any tea was tossed, Rhode Island colonists burned a British ship. Jennifer Mcdermott,, "Rhode Islanders feel slighted that the Boston Tea Party gets all the glory. So they’re burning a ship on Sunday," 7 June 2018 The 16th century English colonists who vanished after being left in the New World have piqued popular imagination and intrigued historians for centuries. Washington Post, "Land deal will preserve site linked to Lost Colony mystery," 28 Apr. 2018 In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning colonists that British troops were approaching., "This day in history," 18 Apr. 2018 In the American Revolution, the Tippetts were loyal to the British, but Berrian was on the side of the colonists. James Barron, New York Times, "A Colonial Cemetery in a Park, and a Question: Does the City Own It?," 28 May 2018

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

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for colonist

Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for colonist

The first known use of colonist was in 1701

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More Definitions for colonist



English Language Learners Definition of colonist

: a person who lives in a colony
: a person who helps to create a colony


col·​o·​nist | \ ˈkä-lə-nəst How to pronounce colonist (audio) \

Kids Definition of colonist

1 : a person living in a colony
2 : a person who helps to found a colony

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More from Merriam-Webster on colonist

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for colonist

Spanish Central: Translation of colonist

Nglish: Translation of colonist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colonist for Arabic Speakers

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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