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

Hong Kong is a former British colony and maintains its own Western-style legal system distinct from China’s heavily politicized courts. Washington Post, "Hong Kong court: Denying same-sex spousal benefits unlawful," 7 June 2019 Hong Kong is a former British colony and maintains its own Western-style legal system distinct from China's heavily politicized courts. NBC News, "Hong Kong court says denying same-sex spousal benefits unlawful," 6 June 2019 Just offshore, on the park’s namesake island that looks like a sugarloaf, is a small colony of about 40 Humboldt penguins prowling the coast in search of food. Mark Johanson, chicagotribune.com, "A landscape like no other: Exploring the surreal southern end of the Atacama Desert," 6 June 2019 The founding of Onteora, an artist’s colony comprising hundreds of acres surrounding, and including, Pennyroyal. Amanda Sims, House Beautiful, "The Reno of This Historic Catskills Cottage Is Impeccable," 23 May 2019 Seabirds howl like banshees, and seal colonies, numbering in the thousands, bubble and blip among the waves. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 When the novel opens the men have been arrested but in two days they will be released on bail, at which time the colony... Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Tribulations, Trials and Tests of Faith," 29 Mar. 2019 Picking up after the events of Persepolis Rising, the militant colony Laconia has retaken the solar system and established the first human interstellar empire. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 The next neighborhood over is Galata, a Genoese colony back in the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Three Days In Istanbul," 28 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

13 Jun 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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