colonize

verb
col·​o·​nize | \ ˈkä-lə-ˌnīz How to pronounce colonize (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from colonize

colonizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for colonize

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Then in the mid-1800s, the pioneers came from the East Coast with their belief in Manifest Destiny, their moral right to colonize the land. Sunny Dooley, Scientific American, "Coronavirus is Attacking the Navajo 'Because We Have Built the Perfect Human for it to Invade'," 8 July 2020 Those seafaring farmers probably sailed from France and Spain to colonize Britain and later sailed from Britain to Ireland. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Incestuous kings may have built Ireland’s Newgrange Passage tomb," 19 June 2020 Another advantage is that in asexual species, just one individual can quickly colonize new territory. Quanta Magazine, "How to Breed a Pomsky and Other Questions About Dogs and Sex," 18 June 2020 Leggett also pointed out that Cook did not colonize Alaska for the British. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "City weighs response to calls on social media for the removal of Anchorage’s statue of Captain James Cook," 19 June 2020 The team noted how more frequent high temperatures hurt a species’ ability to colonize new areas and heightens local extinction risk; though scientists don’t know why exactly this happens, heat likely strains a bee’s metabolism and food sources. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Humans need bumble bees—and they are disappearing faster than we thought," 7 Feb. 2020 German nudists also tried to colonize pockets of South America. Katrin Bennhold, BostonGlobe.com, "A very German idea of freedom: nude ping-pong, nude sledding, nude just about anything," 1 Sep. 2019 And that might have allowed the organism to colonize more environments than other microbes. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells," 9 Apr. 2019 That invasive bee species arrived in Texas in 1990 and has colonized parts of the southern U.S. and caused human deaths. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 4 May 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of colonize

1622, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about colonize

Time Traveler for colonize

Time Traveler

The first known use of colonize was in 1622

See more words from the same year

Statistics for colonize

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colonize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonize. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for colonize

colonize

verb
How to pronounce colonize (audio)

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 How to pronounce colonize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce colonize (audio) \
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 How to pronounce colonization (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on colonize

What made you want to look up colonize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!