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 Our children colonize our lungs, spleens, kidneys, thyroids, skin. Dina Litovsky, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Science of Motherhood," 22 Apr. 2021 The plan was also criticized for its reliance on sloppy research, such as a claim that wrongly accused Paul Revere of seeking to colonize the Penobscot people. BostonGlobe.com, "San Francisco reverses plan to rename dozens of public schools," 7 Apr. 2021 In the year 2063, Earth is a no-go for civilization any longer and a distant planet is seen as a place to colonize and restart humanity. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: Hormonally challenged 'Voyagers' is a poor man's 'Lord of the Flies' in space," 7 Apr. 2021 Paul Revere, for example, was mistakenly accused of trying to colonize the indigenous Penobscot Nation. Rachel Sandler, Forbes, "San Francisco School Board Suspends Controversial Plan To Rename Schools," 7 Apr. 2021 His poetry is like an archive of all that the world forgot, what might have been had humans resisted the desire to enslave and colonize one another. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, "Nathaniel Mackey’s Long Song," 5 Apr. 2021 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

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

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Colonize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colonize. Accessed 5 May. 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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