colony

noun
col·​o·​ny | \ ˈkä-lə-nē How to pronounce colony (audio) \
plural colonies

Definition of colony

1a : a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state a colony of settlers
b : the territory inhabited by such a body the 13 British colonies in America
2 : a distinguishable localized population within a species a colony of termites bird colonies on the island
3a : a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium colonies of bacteria
b : the aggregation of zooids of a compound animal coral colonies
4a : a group of individuals or things with common characteristics or interests situated in close association an artist colony a nudist colony
b : the section occupied by such a group
5 : a group of persons institutionalized away from others a leper colony a penal colony also : the land or buildings occupied by such a group

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Synonyms for colony

Synonyms

plantation

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Examples of colony in a Sentence

Massachusetts was one of the original 13 British colonies that later became the United States. a former French colony in Africa

Recent Examples on the Web

Last year in the Netherlands, The Hague’s Mauritshuis museum removed a bust of its founder from its lobby because Count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen had been governor of the Dutch colony in Brazil and made a fortune in the slave trade. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the Amsterdam Museum Will No Longer Use the Term ‘Dutch Golden Age’," 16 Sep. 2019 Ho Iat-seng was picked to be the next chief executive of the former Portuguese colony in a selection process with no other candidates. Washington Post, "Chinese casino hub Macao’s elite choose new leader," 25 Aug. 2019 For 20-30 enslaved Africans, that journey took them to the shores of the Virginia colony, launching America's original sin in August 1619. Alan Davies, USA TODAY, "Experience the harrowing journey of the first enslaved Africans to land in America," 21 Aug. 2019 About 75% of the colonies survived the initial storm strikes. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Hurricanes lead to more aggressive spiders, study says," 19 Aug. 2019 To really look inside them all might accelerate the collapse of the entire colony. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "Jeffrey Epstein Chose New Mexico for a Reason," 15 Aug. 2019 The rest of the riding colony have 22 wins on the grass. Jeff Nahill, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Native son trainer Glatt wins Washington’s biggest race," 13 Aug. 2019 The plot pokes fun at the huge cultural differences between mainland China and Hong Kong at the time, as the vastly richer citizens of the then British colony often looked down at their neighbors across the border. Isabella Steger, Quartzy, "Six films to watch to understand what’s happening in Hong Kong," 24 July 2019 The economic viability of both the colony and the new nation depended on slave labor. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for colony

Middle English colonie, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin colonia, from colonus farmer, colonist, from colere to cultivate — more at wheel

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Statistics for colony

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for colony

The first known use of colony was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for colony

colony

noun

English Language Learners Definition of colony

: an area that is controlled by or belongs to a country and is usually far away from it
: a group of people sent by a country to live in such a colony
: a group of plants or animals living or growing in one place

colony

noun
col·​o·​ny | \ ˈkä-lə-nē How to pronounce colony (audio) \
plural colonies

Kids Definition of colony

1 : a distant territory belonging to or under the control of a nation
2 : a group of people sent out by a government to a new territory
3 : a group of living things of one kind living together a colony of ants
4 : a group of people with common qualities or interests located in close association an art colony

colony

noun
col·​o·​ny | \ ˈkäl-ə-nē How to pronounce colony (audio) \
plural colonies

Medical Definition of colony

: a circumscribed mass of microorganisms usually growing in or on a solid medium

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Comments on colony

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