from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In anatomy, a portion of the intestinal tract, the so-called “large” as distinguished from the “small” intestine, continuous from the ileum to the rectum; the great gut, beginning at the cæcum and ending in the sigmoid flexure.
  • noun In entomology, the second portion of an insect's intestine, generally broader than the preceding portion or ileum.
  • noun In ancient Grammar and rhetoric, one of the larger or principal divisions of a sentence or period; a long clause, or a group of minor clauses or commata. See comma, 1.
  • noun In ancient prosody, one of the members or sections of a rhythmical period, forming an uninterrupted sequence of feet, united under a principal ictus or beat: sometimes called a series.
  • noun In paleography, a long clause or group of clauses, or a series of words of about the average length of such a group, estimated as approximately equal to a dactylic hexameter in extent—that is, as containing from 12 to 17 syllables.
  • noun A mark of punctuation formed by two dots like periods placed one above the other (:), used to mark a discontinuity of grammatical construction greater than that indicated by the semicolon and less than that indicated by the period.
  • noun The silver peso or dollar of Costa Rica, of the value of 46½ cents or 100 centavos.

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

  • noun (Anat.) That part of the large intestines which extends from the cæcum to the rectum. [See Illust. of digestion.]
  • noun (Gram.) A point or character, formed thus [:], used to separate parts of a sentence that are complete in themselves and nearly independent, often taking the place of a conjunction.

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

  • noun grammar The punctuation mark ":".
  • noun rare The triangular colon (especially in context of not being able to type the actual triangular colon).
  • noun A rhetorical figure consisting of a clause which is grammatically, but not logically, complete.
  • noun anatomy Part of the large intestine; the final segment of the digestive system, after (distal to) the ileum and before (proximal to) the anus

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

  • noun the part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectum; it extracts moisture from food residues before they are excreted
  • noun a punctuation mark (:) used after a word introducing a series or an example or an explanation (or after the salutation of a business letter)
  • noun the basic unit of money in El Salvador; equal to 100 centavos
  • noun a port city at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal
  • noun the basic unit of money in Costa Rica; equal to 100 centimos


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cōlon ("a member of a verse of poem"), from Ancient Greek κῶλον (kōlon, "a member, limb, clause, part of a verse").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cōlon ("large intestine"), from Ancient Greek κόλον (kolon, "the large intestine, also food, meat, fodder").



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Wondering why in pterodactyl's list? See here.

    April 9, 2008

  • In the abbreviated shorthand of the railway telegrapher, colon meant "Cost, insurance and commission". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013