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

Morgan’s generation presented freedom and slavery as the paradox of American history, but Mr. Horn persuasively argues that white Virginians saw no paradox in slavery, approved of by the Bible and already entrenched in the American colonies. Kathleen Duval, WSJ, "‘1619’ and ‘Marooned’ Review: Filling in Early America’s Blanks," 25 Oct. 2018 Lotteries were an even more important means of public finance in the North American colonies. Jonathan D. Cohen, Vox, "How lottery money helped build the United States," 24 Oct. 2018 Swept up in the rebellious fervor of the day, the Kings College student became an outspoken critic of England, that tiny nation across the sea that regulated the price of tea in the colonies. Erin B. Logan, Washington Post, "Alexander Hamilton, immigrant and statesman, dies at 47 — or 49," 12 July 2018 Unlike other Odontonia species, however, O. plurellicola and O. bagginsi do not live in solitary tunicates; their sea squirts of choice live in colonies and are smaller than their solitary counterparts. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Introducing a Hairy-Footed Shrimp Named After Bilbo Baggins," 13 June 2018 John Harold Haynes was born March 25, 1938 to Harold and Violette Haynes in Sri Lanka, then the British colony of Ceylon, where his father managed a tea plantation. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "An Auto Tinkerer Built a DIY Empire," 22 Feb. 2019 Most likely from bird droppings; a whole colony of sooty terns had taken up residence among the cliffs surrounding the lake. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Young Island in the South Pacific Oozes Mysteries and Mud," 5 Feb. 2019 Its heart is an inexpensive time-lapse camera mounted on the ice about 100 feet from a colony. NBC News, "How spying on penguins just might save them," 15 May 2018 After the war, these colonists were determined to defend their claims alongside others who had joined them from England, Scotland, Ireland and the eastern parts of the British colonies. Kathleen Duval, WSJ, "‘Frontier Rebels’ Review: The Revolution Out West," 18 Dec. 2018

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

18 Apr 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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