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

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

The sour orange made it to what is now the U.S. when the Spanish colonized Florida, where the tree was used primarily for its hardy rootstock, which was grafted with sweet orange. Allegra Ben-amotz, WSJ, "This Ingredient Lights Up a Dish Like No Other," 18 Dec. 2018 But this trait, these are the people who colonized this country! Ryan D'agostino, Esquire, "The Drugging of the American Boy," 27 Mar. 2014 Karl’s vigorous, ironic, and knowing modernity, and his long experience in the business, made him just right to colonize the legend of Mademoiselle. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 To save humanity, the US and partner countries embark on an ambitious plan to colonize the Solar System. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 Russian media at the time was filled with scaremongering stories about how millions of Chinese migrants would soon colonize Siberia and the Far East. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "The New Beijing-Moscow Axis," 1 Feb. 2019 The United States is a melting pot, and all the many countries who colonized the land left behind evidence of their own styles. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "A Look At French Colonial Architecture, The Star Style Of New Orleans," 21 Dec. 2018 How are the microbes and animals that colonize the plastic affecting it? NBC News, "Man begins to swim across Pacific Ocean, garbage patch and all," 5 June 2018 The second takeaway is that the microbes already present in our innards seem to dictate which probiotic strains have a chance of colonizing. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Probiotics: If you don’t just poop them out, they may muck up your guts," 8 Sep. 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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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 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

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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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