Definitions

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

  • noun A vertical structure usually consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital, used as a support or standing alone as a monument.
  • noun Any slender vertical support, as of steel or reinforced concrete.
  • noun Something resembling an architectural column in form or function.
  • noun One of two or more vertical sections of text lying side by side in a document and separated by a rule or a blank space.
  • noun An arrangement of numbers in a single vertical line.
  • noun A feature article that appears regularly in a publication, such as a newspaper.
  • noun A formation, as of troops or vehicles, in which all elements follow one behind the other.
  • noun Botany A columnlike structure, especially one formed by the union of a stamen and the style in an orchid flower, or one formed by the united staminal filaments in flowers such as those of the hibiscus or mallow.
  • noun Anatomy Any of various tubular or pillarlike supporting structures in the body, each generally having a single tissue origin and function.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A solid body of greater length than thickness, standing upright, and generally serving as a support to something resting on its top; a pillar; more specifically, as an architectural term, a cylindrical or slightly tapering or fusiform body, called a shaft, set vertically on a stylobate, or on a congeries of moldings which forms its base, and surmounted by a spreading mass which forms its capital.
  • noun Anything resembling a column in shape; any body pressing perpendicularly on its base, and throughout of the same or about the same diameter as its base: as, a column of water, air, or mercury.
  • noun In botany, a body formed by the union of filaments with one another, as in Malvaceæ, or of stamens with the style, as in orchids. See cut under androphore.
  • noun In anatomy and zoology, a part or organ likened to a column or pillar; a columna or columella: as, the spinal column; the fleshy columns of the heart.
  • noun In Crinoidea, specifically, the stalk or stem of a crinoid.
  • noun Milit., a formation of troops narrow in front and extended from front to rear: thus distinguished from a line, which is extended in front and thin in depth.
  • noun Nautical, a number of ships following one another.
  • noun In printing, one of the typographical divisions of printed matter in two or more vertical rows of lines.
  • noun Hence The contents of or the matter printed in such a column, especially in a newspaper: as, the columns of the daily press.
  • noun An apparatus used for the fixation of colors upon fabrics by means of steam.
  • noun two symmetrically placed tracts of medium-sized nerve-cells of the spinal cord, laterodorsad of the central canal, confined to the thoracic region.
  • noun A short upright line which separates written or printed words or symbols.
  • noun The mast or vertical member of a hoisting apparatus, such as a crane, usually so constructed that no bracing or guys shall be required at the top to resist the bending stresses due to the load.

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

  • noun (Arch.) A kind of pillar; a cylindrical or polygonal support for a roof, ceiling, statue, etc., somewhat ornamented, and usually composed of base, shaft, and capital. See order.
  • noun Anything resembling, in form or position, a column in architecture; an upright body or mass; a shaft or obelisk.
  • noun A body of troops formed in ranks, one behind the other; -- contradistinguished from line. Compare Ploy, and Deploy.
  • noun A small army.
  • noun (Naut.) A number of ships so arranged as to follow one another in single or double file or in squadrons; -- in distinction from “line”, where they are side by side.
  • noun (Print.) A perpendicular set of lines, not extending across the page, and separated from other matter by a rule or blank space.
  • noun (Arith.) A perpendicular line of figures.
  • noun (Bot.) The body formed by the union of the stamens in the Mallow family, or of the stamens and pistil in the orchids.
  • noun (Print.) one of a series of articles written in a periodical, usually under the same title and at regular intervals; it may be written and signed by one or more authors, or may appear pseudonymously or anonymously, as an editorial column.
  • noun See under Attach, v. t.
  • noun See under Cluster, v. t.
  • noun a thin strip of brass separating columns of type in the form, and making a line between them in printing.

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

  • noun A solid upright structure designed usually to support a larger structure above it, such as a roof or horizontal beam, but sometimes for decoration.
  • noun A vertical line of entries in a table, usually read from top to bottom.
  • noun A body of troops or army vehicles, usually strung out along a road.
  • noun A body of text meant to be read line by line, especially in printed material that has multiple adjacent such on a single page.
  • noun A unit of width, especially of advertisements, in a periodical, equivalent to the width of a usual column of text.
  • noun by extension A recurring feature in a periodical, especially an opinion piece, especially by a single author or small rotating group of authors, or on a single theme.
  • noun Something having similar vertical form or structure to the things mentioned above, such as a spinal column.

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

  • noun (architecture) a tall vertical cylindrical structure standing upright and used to support a structure
  • noun anything that approximates the shape of a column or tower
  • noun a vertical array of numbers or other information
  • noun a line of units following one after another
  • noun a vertical glass tube used in column chromatography; a mixture is poured in the top and washed through a stationary substance where components of the mixture are adsorbed selectively to form colored bands
  • noun a vertical cylindrical structure standing alone and not supporting anything (such as a monument)

Etymologies

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

Middle English columne, from Latin columna.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English columne ("column (of a page)"), which from Latin columna ("a column, pillar, post"), originally a collateral form of columen, contraction culmen ("a pillar, top, crown, summit"), o-grade form from a Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- (“going around”). Akin to Latin collis ("a hill"), celsus ("high"), probably to Ancient Greek κολοφών (kolophōn, "top, summit").

Examples

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