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

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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 After New Zealand officially became a British colony, the Native Schools Act of 1867 prioritized the teaching of English. NBC News, 22 Sep. 2021 Two breeding pairs in 1982 have grown in the decades since to as many as 2,200, making the Boulders colony world famous. Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2021 Two breeding pairs in 1982 have grown in the decades since to as many as 2,200, making the Boulders colony world famous. Jonathan Edwards, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Sep. 2021 The colony rewarded Mason, who settled in Windsor, by appointing him major general and giving him control of the Connecticut militia. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, 22 Sep. 2021 The island of Macau—a former Portuguese colony nestled off the coast of China’s southern Guangdong province—has enjoyed a decades-long winning streak as Asia's premier destination for gambling. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 16 Sep. 2021 With the colony at its largest size now, there are many mouths to feed, which may be why this behavior goes unnoticed earlier in the year. Miri Talabac, baltimoresun.com, 16 Sep. 2021 In its 22 years under Chinese rule, Macau evolved from a sleepy and slightly sleazy Portuguese colony to the biggest gambling jurisdiction in the world. Oliver Staley, Quartz, 15 Sep. 2021 The exhibit can house up to 40 penguins, and aquarium staff are hopeful the birds will form a successful breeding colony. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for colony

Time Traveler

The first known use of colony was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near colony

colonus

colony

colony collapse disorder

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Statistics for colony

Last Updated

27 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Colony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colony. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on colony

Nglish: Translation of colony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colony for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about colony

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