colonize

verb
col·​o·​nize | \ ˈkä-lə-ˌnīz \
colonized; colonizing

Definition of colonize

transitive verb

1a : to establish a colony in or on or of colonize an island
b : to establish in a colony the rights of colonized people
2 : to send illegal or irregularly qualified voters into colonizing doubtful districts
3 : to infiltrate with usually subversive militants for propaganda and strategy reasons colonize industries

intransitive verb

: to make or establish a colony : settle

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Other Words from colonize

colonizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for colonize

Synonyms

people, populate, settle

Antonyms

depopulate, unpeople

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Examples of colonize in a Sentence

The area was colonized in the 18th century. Weeds quickly colonized the field. The island had been colonized by plants and animals.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While it's believed that the first settlers were the Amerindian Arawaks some 6,000 years ago, the nation spent the last few centuries colonized by a series of European countries. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 Similar bacteria could someday help humans colonize Mars and expand our search for life on other planets, researchers said in a statement released with the new work. Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "Weird Low-Light Bacteria Could Potentially Thrive on Mars," 15 June 2018 After being colonized by Spain for more than three centuries, the Philippines became a U.S. possession in 1898 in a new colonial era that began with the outbreak of the Philippine-American War. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "US returns 3 disputed bells taken from Philippines in 1901," 11 Dec. 2018 Well, Emma's caption mentions Tom’s upcoming project Origin, a YouTube original series that follows the story of humans colonizing the only planet that can sustain life. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "Emma Watson and Tom Felton Held a "Harry Potter" Reunion," 8 Nov. 2018 Many of these critics believe that creating a manned station is unnecessary for what the Gateway hopes to become, and that NASA would be be better off focusing on colonizing the moon. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Bold But Vague: NASA Delivers the Official Road Map for its Future," 26 Sep. 2018 For example, songbirds that migrate between North America and South America seem to have done the opposite of African species, with northern ancestors colonizing the equatorial south. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Some Birds Are Better Off With Weak Immune Systems," 25 June 2018 His obsession with colonizing Mars plays to those who see him as America’s Alpha Geek, as did his guest spot on the Big Bang Theory. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tesla’s Elon Musk, greatest showman in space," 10 Feb. 2018 Cunanan and Harding were two of the defining sensations of the 1990s, a peacetime decade during which tabloid stories colonized the front page. Daniel D'addario, Time, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," 11 Jan. 2018

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

1622, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for colonize

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colonize

The first known use of colonize was in 1622

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More Definitions for colonize

colonize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of colonize

: to create a colony in or on (a place) : to take control of (an area) and send people to live there

: to move into and live in (a place) as a new type of plant or animal

colonize

verb
col·​o·​nize | \ ˈkä-lə-ˌnīz \
colonized; colonizing

Kids Definition of colonize

1 : to establish a colony in or on
2 : to settle in a colony

colonize

verb
col·​o·​nize | \ ˈkäl-ə-ˌnīz \
colonized; colonizing

Medical Definition of colonize

transitive verb

1 : to establish a colony in or on the parasitic roundworms…have succeeded in colonizing a great variety of hosts— W. H. Dowdeswell
2 : to isolate in supervised groups

intransitive verb

of microorganisms : to become established in a habitat (as a host or a wound) these bacteria in turn colonize in other parts of the body— R. A. Runnells

Other Words from colonize

colonization \ ˌkäl-​ə-​nə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on colonize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with colonize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for colonize

Spanish Central: Translation of colonize

Nglish: Translation of colonize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colonize for Arabic Speakers

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