Definitions

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

  • noun An inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts about its publication.
  • noun A publisher's emblem or trademark placed usually on the spine or the title page of a book.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An emblematic device, or a note, especially one relating to the circumstances of production, as the printer's or scribe's names place, and date, put at the conclusion of a book or manuscript.
  • noun The end of a book; the word “finis,” or “the end,” marking the conclusion of any printed work.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology: A genus of coleopterous insects.
  • noun A genus of arachnidans.

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

  • noun An inscription, monogram, or cipher, containing the place and date of publication, printer's name, etc., formerly placed on the last page of a book.

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

  • noun In manuscripts (typically before the invention of printing), the note, usually at the end, left by the scribe who copied it, giving information on his exemplar, where and when the copy was made, and sometimes, his own name.
  • noun A printer's or publisher's identifying inscription or logo appearing at the end of a book, or the same appearing on the spine or dust-jacket.
  • noun Internet A page on a website identifying the details of its creation, such as the author's name and the technologies used.

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

  • noun a publisher's emblem printed in a book (usually on the title page)

Etymologies

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

[Late Latin colophōn, from Greek kolophōn, summit, finishing touch; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Ancient Greek κολοφών (kolophon, "peak or finishing touch")

Examples

  • The colophon is numbered (50 copies) and signed by Robert Reid.

    2009 April 29 | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • The colophon is numbered (50 copies) and signed by Robert Reid.

    2009 April | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • The colophon is numbered (50 copies) and signed by Robert Reid.

    Kuthan’s Menagerie: famous fine printing in Canada

  • As, however, the colophon is unmistakably clear as to date, and as that date is but two years subsequent to the events narrated in the poem, we may at least assume that the papyrus is a contemporary document.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • Bantam Books is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House,

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice

  • Bantam Books is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Firestorm

  • Dell is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

    Warning Signs

  • N.Y. Dell is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2001028313 ISBN: 0-440-23657-6

    No Man's Mistress

  • Gramercy is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of

    Treasure Island

  • DEVICE The printer’s or publisher’s imprint, sometimes referred to as a colophon, usually found on the copyright page when present (uncommon now).

    Book Terminology: A to Z

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • A word of beauty to a typography nerd.

    April 10, 2008

  • Also, apparently, an ancient Greek city of Asia Minor. See Colophon.

    February 6, 2011