from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of collating.
  • noun A light meal permitted on fast days.
  • noun A light meal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To partake of a light repast.
  • noun The act of collating, or bringing together and comparing; a comparison of one thing with another of a like kind; especially, the comparison of manuscripts or editions of books or of records or statistics.
  • noun A compilation; specifically, a collection of the lives of the fathers of the church.
  • noun The act of reading and conversing on the lives of the saints, or the Scriptures: a practice instituted in monasteries by St. Benedict.
  • noun A conference.
  • noun A contribution; something to which each of several participators contributes.
  • noun In the medieval universities, a sort of theological lecture laying down certain propositions without necessarily proving them.
  • noun Reasoning; drawing of a conclusion.
  • noun A repast; a meal: a term originally applied to the refection partaken of by monks in monasteries after the reading of the lives of the saints.
  • noun The act of conferring or bestowing; a gift.
  • noun In canon law, the presentation of a clergyman to a benefice by a bishop, who is the ordinary of the benefice, and who at the same time has the benefice in his own gift or patronage, or by neglect of the patron has acquired the patron's rights.
  • noun In civil and Scots law, the real or supposed return of a former advancement to the mass of a decedent's property, made by one heir, that the property may be equitably divided among all the heirs; hotch-pot.
  • noun In bibliog., detailed comparison of a book with a perfect copy, usually by specifying, by signature-marks or other indications, the number of leaves (blank as well as printed) and detachable plates or maps, present or absent, in the copy examined, as compared with a perfect copy.
  • noun In bookbinding, the examination of the folded sections (signatures) of a book for the purpose of discovering omissions or misplacements of sections.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To partake of a collation.
  • noun The act of collating or comparing; a comparison of one copy er thing (as of a book, or manuscript) with another of a like kind; comparison, in general.
  • noun (Print.) The gathering and examination of sheets preparatory to binding.
  • noun obsolete The act of conferring or bestowing.
  • noun obsolete A conference.
  • noun (Eccl. Law) The presentation of a clergyman to a benefice by a bishop, who has it in his own gift.
  • noun The act of comparing the copy of any paper with its original to ascertain its conformity.
  • noun The report of the act made by the proper officers.
  • noun (Scots Law) The right which an heir has of throwing the whole heritable and movable estates of the deceased into one mass, and sharing it equally with others who are of the same degree of kindred.
  • noun (Eccles.) A collection of the Lives of the Fathers or other devout work read daily in monasteries.
  • noun A light repast or luncheon; ; -- first applied to the refreshment on fast days that accompanied the reading of the collation in monasteries.
  • noun (Old Law) a method of ascertaining the genuineness of a seal by comparing it with another known to be genuine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Bringing together.
  • noun Discussion, light meal.
  • verb obsolete To partake of a collation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun assembling in proper numerical or logical sequence
  • noun a light informal meal
  • noun careful examination and comparison to note points of disagreement


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French collation, from Latin collationem, from the participle stem of conferre ("to bring together").


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  • But fast as they run they stay there so long as if they wanted not time to finish the race; for it is usual here to find some of the young company till midnight; and the thickets of the garden seem to be contrived to all advantages of gallantry; after they have been refreshed with the collation, which is here seldom omitted, at

    The Strand District The Fascination of London Walter Besant 1868

  • The collation was a sumptuous one, for when Belfast nabobs do anything, they do it.

    The Yacht Club or The Young Boat-Builder Oliver Optic 1859

  • MSS. which must have been at least as old as the vth century, it exhibits the result of what may be called a collation of copies made at a time when only four of our extant uncials were in existence.

    The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark John William Burgon 1850

  • First of all, it is about collation, which is always interesting to me.

    MSDN Blogs 2008

  • So we tarried long enough to mark the fair faces and fine dresses, and then rambled under the old trees till the hour for the "collation" came; and this is the second point on which I purpose to dwell.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 70, August, 1863 Various

  • Still more material was the relaxation afforded by the introduction of "collation".

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy 1840-1916 1913

  • In fact there were no mishaps, everything went exactly as it should, reception and "collation" included, and, to quote from the South Harniss local once more, "A good time was had by all."

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph Crosby Lincoln 1907

  • Her uncles had tried to remonstrate with her, telling her there were plenty of others to arrange the flowers and attend to what the local newspaper would, in its account of the affair, be sure to call the "collation," and to make the hundred and one preparations necessary for even so small and simple a wedding as this.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph Crosby Lincoln 1907

  • During these three years in Cambridge he refers occasionally to the 'collation' and 'castigation' of the New

    The Age of Erasmus Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London 1901

  • Gracieuse's "collation," with its more than twenty pots of different jams, has a delightful realty (which is slightly different from reality) even for those to whom jam has never been the very highest of human delights, because they prefer savouries to sweets.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 From the Beginning to 1800 George Saintsbury 1889


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  • In rare/antique books, to collate is to checking for the presence of every leaf and page that was in the volume when originally issued. If all are present, a book is said to have been collated as complete.

    February 22, 2007

  • "...since the Captain had missed his dinner, did he choose to take a cold collation in the gunroom?"

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, 167

    March 7, 2008