col·​o·​phon ˈkä-lə-fən How to pronounce colophon (audio)
: an inscription at the end of a book or manuscript usually with facts about its production
: an identifying mark used by a printer or a publisher

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Like the colophon actually means like these are the people who made it. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, 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, 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, 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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colophon was in 1501

Dictionary Entries Near colophon

Cite this Entry

“Colophon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Col·​o·​phon ˈkä-lə-fən How to pronounce Colophon (audio)
ancient city of western Asia Minor in Lydia

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