an associate.

Origin of colleague

1515–25; < Middle French collegue < Latin collēga, equivalent to col- col-1 + -lēga, derivative of legere to choose, gather
Related formscol·league·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colleagues

Contemporary Examples of colleagues

Historical Examples of colleagues

  • The premier and some of his colleagues observed, however, a moody silence.

  • Von Holzen was only a scientist, a fact of which he assured his colleagues repeatedly.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The Indian ventured to question this, and his seven colleagues were all of his opinion.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • Once out of the de Naarboveck house, he could explain matters to his colleagues.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • I must confess that I gave your husband and his colleagues a terrible fright the other night.

British Dictionary definitions for colleagues



a fellow worker or member of a staff, department, profession, etc

Word Origin for colleague

C16: from French collègue, from Latin collēga one selected at the same time as another, from com- together + lēgāre to choose
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

Word Origin and History for colleagues



1530s, from Middle French collègue (16c.), from Latin collega "partner in office," from com- "with" (see com-) + leg-, stem of legare "to choose" (see legate). So, "one chosen to work with another," or "one chosen at the same time as another."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper