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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
  • n. A territory thus settled.
  • n. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a dependency.
  • n. A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular area: the American colony in Paris.
  • n. The area occupied by such a group.
  • n. The British colonies that became the original 13 states of the United States.
  • n. A group of people who have been institutionalized in a relatively remote area: an island penal colony.
  • n. Ecology A group of the same kind of animals, plants, or one-celled organisms living or growing together.
  • n. Microbiology A visible growth of microorganisms, usually in a solid or semisolid nutrient medium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A settlement of emigrants who move to a new place, but remain culturally tied to their original place
  • n. Region or governmental unit created by another country and generally ruled by another country.
  • n. A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular geographic area
  • n. A group of organisms of same or different species living together in close association.
  • n. A collective noun for rabbits.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A company of people transplanted from their mother country to a remote province or country, and remaining subject to the jurisdiction of the parent state.
  • n. The district or country colonized; a settlement.
  • n. a territory subject to the ruling governmental authority of another country and not a part of the ruling country.
  • n. A company of persons from the same country sojourning in a foreign city or land.
  • n. A number of animals or plants living or growing together, beyond their usual range.
  • n. A cell family or group of common origin, mostly of unicellular organisms, esp. among the lower algæ. They may adhere in chains or groups, or be held together by a gelatinous envelope.
  • n. A cluster or aggregation of zooids of any compound animal, as in the corals, hydroids, certain tunicates, etc.
  • n. A community of social insects, as ants, bees, etc.
  • n. a group of microorganisms originating as the descendents of one individual cell, growing on a gelled growth medium, as of gelatin or agar; especially, such a group that has grown to a sufficient number to be visible to the naked eye.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A company or body of people who migrate from their native country or home to a new province, country, or district, to cultivate and inhabit it, but remain subject to or intimately connected with the parent state; also, the descendants of such settlers so long as the connection with the mother country is retained.
  • n. The country or district planted or colonized.
  • n. A number of persons of a particular nation, taken collectively, residing temporarily or indefinitely in a foreign city or country: as, the American colony in Paris.
  • n. A number of animals or plants living or growing colonially.
  • To colonize.
  • n. A circumscribed aggregation of bacteria of the same species in artificial culture.
  • n. In sociology, a group of individuals of like natures or having a common interest, living by themselves as a self-sufficient social organization.

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

  • n. a group of organisms of the same type living or growing together
  • n. a geographical area politically controlled by a distant country
  • n. (microbiology) a group of organisms grown from a single parent cell
  • n. a place where a group of people with the same interest or occupation are concentrated
  • n. one of the 13 British colonies that formed the original states of the United States
  • n. a body of people who settle far from home but maintain ties with their homeland; inhabitants remain nationals of their home state but are not literally under the home state's system of government


Middle English colonie, from Latin colōnia, from colōnus, settler, from colere, to cultivate; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin colōnia ("colony"), from colōnus ("farmer; colonist"), from colō ("till, cultivate, worship"), from earlier *quelō, from Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- (“to move; to turn (around)”). (Wiktionary)



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