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col

[ kol; French kawl ]
/ kɒl; French kɔl /
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noun, plural cols [kolz; French kawl]. /kɒlz; French kɔl/.

Physical Geography. a pass or depression in a mountain range or ridge.
Meteorology. the region of relatively low pressure between two anticyclones.

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Shoelaces, rainbow, toothpaste, and haircuts are all what type of noun?

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Origin of col

1850–55; <French <Latin collum neck

Definition for col (2 of 7)

COL

cost of living.

Definition for col (3 of 7)

col-1

variant of com- before l: collateral.

Definition for col (4 of 7)

col-2

variant of colo- before a vowel: colectomy.

Definition for col (5 of 7)

col.1

abbreviation

(in prescriptions) strain.

Origin of col.

1
From the Latin word colā

Definition for col (6 of 7)

col.2

abbreviation

Definition for col (7 of 7)

Col.

abbreviation

Colombia.
Colonel.
Colorado.
Bible. Colossians.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

WORDS THAT USE COL-

What does col- mean?

Col- is a combining form used like a prefix representing the word colon, the part of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum. It is often used in medical terms.

Col- comes from the Greek kólon, meaning “large intestine.” The Greek kólon is also the source of such words as colic and colicky, a word which many parents may know all too well.

Col-, when it refers to the colon, is a variant of colo-, which loses its –o- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use colo- article.

Examples of col-

One medical term you may be familiar with that uses col- is colitis, meaning “inflammation of the colon.”

The first part of the word, col-, represents “colon.” The second part of the word, -itis, might also look familiar: it’s used in medical terms to denote “inflammation.”Colitis, then, breaks down to “colon inflammation.”

What are some words that use the combining form col-?

What are some other forms that col- may be commonly confused with?

There are many other words begin with col-, from cola and colander to color to colony, but they are not using col- as a combining form meaning “colon.”

Adding to the confusion (but highlighting just how much English gets out of the letters col-) is the fact that col- is also a variant of the prefix com-, meaning “with, together,” when combined with words or word elements beginning with -l-, as in collateral.

Break it down!

The combining form -ectomy means “excision, removal” With this in mind, what does the surgical procedure of colectomy involve?

Example sentences from the Web for col

British Dictionary definitions for col (1 of 5)

col
/ (kɒl, French kɔl) /

noun

the lowest point of a ridge connecting two mountain peaks, often constituting a pass
meteorol a pressure region between two anticyclones and two depressions, associated with variable weather

Word Origin for col

C19: from French: neck, col, from Latin collum neck

British Dictionary definitions for col (2 of 5)

col-1

prefix

a variant of com- collateral

British Dictionary definitions for col (3 of 5)

col-2

prefix

a variant of colo- colectomy

British Dictionary definitions for col (4 of 5)

col.

abbreviation for

column

British Dictionary definitions for col (5 of 5)

Col.

abbreviation for

Colombia(n)
Colonel
Bible Colossians
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

Medical definitions for col (1 of 3)

col
[ kŏl ]

n.

A craterlike area of the interproximal oral mucosa joining the lingual and buccal interdental papillae.

Medical definitions for col (2 of 3)

col- 22

pref.

Variant ofcolo-

Medical definitions for col (3 of 3)

col- 11

pref.

Variant ofcom-
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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