col·​umn | \ˈkä-ləm also ˈkäl-yəm \

Definition of column 

1a : a vertical arrangement of items printed or written on a page columns of numbers

b : one of two or more vertical sections of a printed page separated by a rule or blank space The news article takes up three columns.

c : an accumulation arranged vertically : stack columns of paint cans

d : one in a usually regular series of newspaper or magazine articles the gossip column advice columns

2 : a supporting pillar especially : one consisting of a usually round shaft, a capital, and a base a colonnade of marble columns

3a : something resembling a column in form, position, or function a column of water columns of smoke

b : a tube or cylinder in which a chromatographic separation takes place

4 : a long row (as of soldiers) columns of troops

5 : one of the vertical lines of elements of a determinant or matrix

6 : a statistical category or grouping put another game in the win column

Illustration of column

Illustration of column

column 2

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Other Words from column

columned \ˈkä-​ləmd, ˈkäl-​yəmd \ adjective

Synonyms for column


cue, file, line, queue, range, string, train

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Examples of column in a Sentence

a facade with marble columns Add the first column of numbers. The article takes up three columns. The error appears at the bottom of the second column. She writes a weekly column for the paper.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Miranda is using a large linear actuator on large wheels, slowly moving one column at a time. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Sand Printing Robot Is What You Need If You're Stranded on a Desert Island," 3 July 2018 American Media scrambled to put one column together in the days after the Journal’s report, according to a person familiar with the matter. WSJ, "Ex-Playmate Alleging Trump Affair to Get Men’s Journal Cover," 27 June 2018 His column examines financial issues for those thinking about, planning and living their retirement. Glenn Ruffenach, WSJ, "If You Want Your Grandchildren to Inherit Some of Your Money," 20 Nov. 2018 Trump carried Florida with 49 percent of the vote (to Clinton’s 47.8 percent), clocking the state’s 29 electoral votes to his column. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Gillum 2020?," 7 Nov. 2018 Republican Marsha Blackburn won the open Senate seat in Tennessee, which Democrats had hoped would slide into their column. Isaac Stanley-becker, The Seattle Times, "Republicans keep control of the Senate; Democrats claim House majority," 7 Nov. 2018 The massive oval pavilion, with its concrete columns and steel cables, was created as the Tent of Tomorrow for the 1964 World’s Fair. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "Arbiter of taste, enfant terrible: The best and worst of Philip Johnson," 6 Nov. 2018 Referring to Al-Hathloul by name in his columns was part of a larger effort by Khashoggi to make sure Saudi women were not erased, that they were heard, Attiah says. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, ""It Shouldn’t Be a Crime In This World to Speak Your Mind"," 17 Oct. 2018 For information on ways to beat the wait, see my column in Sunday’s paper. Kathleen Pender,, "California DMV will expand Saturday hours to trim interminable waits," 13 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for column

Middle English columne, from Anglo-French columpne, from Latin columna, from columen top; akin to Latin collis hill — more at hill

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Statistics for column

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for column

The first known use of column was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for column



English Language Learners Definition of column

: a long post made of steel, stone, etc., that is used as a support in a building

: a group of printed or written items (such as numbers or words) shown one under the other down a page

: any one of two or more sections of print that appear next to each other on a page and are separated by a blank space or a line


col·​umn | \ˈkä-ləm \

Kids Definition of column

1 : one of two or more vertical sections of a printed page Read the article in the left column.

2 : a group of items shown one under the other down a page a column of figures

3 : a regular feature in a newspaper or magazine a sports column

4 : a pillar used to support a building

5 : something that is tall or thin in shape or arrangement a column of smoke

6 : a long straight row a column of soldiers


col·​umn | \ˈkäl-əm \

Medical Definition of column 

: a longitudinal subdivision of the spinal cord that resembles a column or pillar: as

a : any of the principal longitudinal subdivisions of gray matter or white matter in each lateral half of the spinal cord — see dorsal horn, gray column, lateral column sense 1, ventral horn — compare funiculus sense a

b : any of a number of smaller bundles of spinal nerve fibers : fasciculus

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More from Merriam-Webster on column

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with column

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for column

Spanish Central: Translation of column

Nglish: Translation of column for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of column for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about column

Comments on column

What made you want to look up column? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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