colony

noun
col·​o·​ny | \ ˈkä-lə-nē \
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

About 500 beekeepers are registered in Florida’s Panhandle, with more than 1.2 billion bees in their colonies, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Jennifer Kay, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane Michael could sour Florida’s tupelo honey harvest," 22 Oct. 2018 Maurice Audin has become the symbol of France's abuses during the brutal war in its former colony that ended with Algeria's independence in 1962. Elaine Ganley, Fox News, "France's Macron admits system of torture during Algeria war," 13 Sep. 2018 Charlottesville’s Daily Progress reports that the state lost nearly 60 percent of its colonies over the winter. Washington Post, "Illnesses in Md. linked to Venezuelan crab meat," 8 July 2018 The cheering crowds at the ceremony on Saturday, however, masked Belgium’s complex relationship with its former colony. New York Times, "Belgium Honors Congolese Leader It Helped Overthrow," 30 June 2018 To distinguish itself, Jeune will have a menu inspired by the cuisine of France as well as its former colonies in the Caribbean, Vietnam and Africa. Pam Kragen, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Campfire owner plans second restaurant in Carlsbad Village," 20 June 2018 Wildlife officials say some 70 baby seagulls found on a sidewalk in the South Loop were attacked and, in most cases, dropped to their death by older birds in their colony. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Dozens of baby gulls pushed to their deaths in South Loop were attacked by other gulls - not humans: wildlife official," 19 June 2018 Not only did it not produce a peace treaty ending the Korean War, but negotiations over France's withdrawal from its colonies in Indochina set the stage for the Vietnam War. James Griffiths, CNN, "Could Trump and Kim agree to a peace treaty ending the Korean War?," 9 June 2018 Great Britain and most of its one-time colonies — Australia, India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, and some contiguous nations, and some Caribbean islands — drive on the left side, along with Ireland and Northern Ireland. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "A left-hand view on driving through England," 7 June 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

10 Jan 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 \
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 \
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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