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[kol-uh-nahyz] /ˈkɒl əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), colonized, colonizing.
to establish a colony in; settle:
England colonized Australia.
to form a colony of:
to colonize laborers in a mining region.
verb (used without object), colonized, colonizing.
to form a colony:
They went out to Australia to colonize.
to settle in a colony.
Also, especially British, colonise.
Origin of colonize
First recorded in 1615-25; colon(y) + -ize
Related forms
colonizable, adjective
colonizability, noun
colonization, noun
colonizationist, noun
colonizer, noun
intercolonization, noun
intercolonize, verb, intercolonized, intercolonizing.
recolonization, noun
recolonize, verb (used with object), recolonized, recolonizing.
uncolonize, verb (used with object), uncolonized, uncolonizing.
well-colonized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for colonizer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We have not spoken of the Chancellor as an argonaut, of the Chancellor as a colonizer.

    The Arena Various
  • He was a young man of energy and had great ideas as a colonizer.

  • He may be no sort of a colonizer himself, but he knows how to sell goods.

  • As an explorer he stands unequalled, but as a colonizer he utterly failed.

    The Spanish Pioneers Charles F. Lummis
  • Charnisay possessed the instincts of a colonizer and had already brought a number of settlers to Acadia.

    Glimpses of the Past W. O. Raymond
  • Pierre Terriot was a colonizer, and an interesting figure in the early days of Minas.

    The Land of Evangeline

    John Frederic Herbin
  • As a colonizer and builder, from the pioneer days to the completion of his work, he was equal to the foremost of his associates.

    Gospel Doctrine Joseph F. Smith
  • Captain John Smith, soldier, colonizer and Virginian planter, writing in 1606 describes two sorts of wild grapes.

    The Grapes of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • The notion, so widely current in this country, that Spain "failed" as a colonizer, arises from a faulty method.

    The Colonization of North America Herbert Eugene Bolton
British Dictionary definitions for colonizer


to send colonists to or establish a colony in (an area)
to settle in (an area) as colonists
(transitive) to transform (a community) into a colony
(of plants and animals) to become established in (a new environment)
Derived Forms
colonizable, colonisable, adjective
colonization, colonisation, noun
colonizer, coloniser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for colonizer



1620s, "to settle with colonists," from stem of Latin colonus "tiller of the soil, farmer" (see colony); in sense "to make another place into a national dependency" without regard for settlement there by 1790s (e.g. in reference to French activity in Egypt or British work in India), and probably directly from colony.

No principle ought ever to be tolerated or acted upon, that does not proceed on the basis of India being considered as the temporary residence of a great British Establishment, for the good government of the country, upon steady and uniform principles, and of a large British factory, for the beneficial management of its trade, upon rules applicable to the state and manners of the country. [Henry Dundas, Chairman of the East-India Company, letter, April 2, 1800]
Related: Colonized; colonizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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