col·​o·​phon | \ ˈkä-lə-fən How to pronounce colophon (audio) , -ˌfän \

Definition of colophon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an inscription at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts about its production
2 : an identifying mark used by a printer or a publisher


geographical name
Col·​o·​phon | \ ˈkä-lə-fən How to pronounce Colophon (audio) , -ˌfän \

Definition of Colophon (Entry 2 of 2)

ancient city of western Asia Minor in Lydia

Examples of colophon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Like the colophon actually means like these are the people who made it. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "We’ve Got Even More Book Suggestions: Women Who Travel Podcast," 5 Aug. 2020 The differences between the editions, which begin with the colophon, include extended or altered scenes and three distinct endings. James Yeh, New York Times, "Percival Everett Has a Book or Three Coming Out," 3 May 2020 This is one reason, Melanie Holcomb, a curator in the Met’s department of medieval art explained, it is thought that the Bible dates from the early part of the 14th century, despite bearing a colophon dated A.D. 1366. Peter Libbey, New York Times, "An Illuminated Hebrew Bible Has a New Home," 22 Dec. 2017

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


1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colophon


Latin, from Greek kolophōn summit, finishing touch; perhaps akin to Latin culmen top — more at hill

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The first known use of colophon was in 1501

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colophon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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