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

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Other Words from colonize

colonizer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for colonize

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 If peregrines can colonize dense urban centers, why not Johnny rooks? Paul Kvinta, Outside Online, "The Mystery of the Falkland Islands' Striated Caracara," 2 Apr. 2021 The plan was criticized for the sloppiness of the research process, which, among other things, wrongly accused Paul Revere of seeking to colonize the Penobscot people. New York Times, "In San Francisco, Turmoil Over Reopening Schools Turns a City Against Itself," 29 Mar. 2021 Lungfish are thought to be related to the first creatures that crawled out of the water to colonize land. Scientific American, "Watching Lungfish Walk the Walk," 12 Dec. 2011 Through adolescence, the biological chasm between twins deepens as distinct microbes colonize their guts, or subtle shifts in the environment squish or stretch parts of their genomes, making certain segments harder or easier to read. Katherine J. Wu New York Times, Star Tribune, "Identical twins experiencing drastically different symptoms," 28 Jan. 2021 While the paper, which claimed 5G millimeter waves can help colonize the coronavirus in the human body, was quickly retracted, that didn’t stop people from burning down 5G towers and harassing telecom engineers. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Conspiracists Say This 5G Chip Is in the COVID Vaccine. It’s Just a Guitar Pedal.," 5 Jan. 2021 Remote and rugged amid fir, cedar and pine, Cerro Pelon is one of several butterfly sanctuaries in Michoacán and Mexico, two bordering states where the butterflies colonize. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, "Discovered butterfly tag in Mexico represents monarchs' tale of survival," 24 Dec. 2020 Now, instead of the storylines being limited to the residents of Earth, Mars, and the Belt, humans can access and colonize space outside of our Solar System. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "What makes The Expanse so great: Good science, balancing epic with personal," 16 Dec. 2020 That is because, as scientists are increasingly learning, many viruses are lurking quietly in the human body, hidden away in cells in the lungs, blood and nerves and inside the multitudes of microbes that colonize our gut. David Pride, Scientific American, "Viruses Can Help Us as Well as Harm Us," 7 Dec. 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.

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First Known Use of colonize

1622, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for colonize

Time Traveler

The first known use of colonize was in 1622

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Statistics for colonize

Last Updated

7 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Colonize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonize. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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 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 colonize (audio) \ noun

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Comments on colonize

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