col·​o·​nist | \ ˈkä-lə-nist \

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

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 Many of the colonists have already given up their land after being cheated and robbed by tax collectors for Governor Tryon, the man who granted Jamie his 10,000 acres. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 5," 3 Dec. 2018 Set in deep space, the TV Nightflyers follows a disparate band of colonists who are fleeing a dying Earth and are driven to paranoia and madness by some mysterious entity. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Before Game of Thrones and Nightflyers, George R.R. Martin’s work inspired a great Outer Limits episode," 30 Nov. 2018 By the 1650s, English privateering had legitimized maritime robbery and smuggling in the eyes of many colonists. Rinker Buck, WSJ, "‘Black Flags, Blue Waters’ Review: To Live and Die a Pirate King," 26 Sep. 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 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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

Comments on colonist

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to deny responsibility for

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