[kol-ee]British Dialect

verb (used with object), col·lied, col·ly·ing.

to blacken as with coal dust; begrime.


grime; soot.

Origin of colly

1555–65; variant of collow (v.), Middle English colwen, derivative of Old English col coal; see -y1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colly

Historical Examples of colly

  • With a great burst of bleating they dashed off, the colly running after them.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts

    Helen Hunt Jackson

  • Colly said that when he'd corrected it there was no S there.

    Lost Diaries

    Maurice Baring

  • And my dog, the noble black Scotch colly, what had become of him, I wondered?


    Marie Corelli

  • I've larnt that the nager's anger with Colly is all a pretince, an' that she's an old she schemer.

    The Boy Slaves

    Mayne Reid

  • Next thing, you fellows will be calling me old Colly Ridgeon.

    The Doctor's Dilemma

    George Bernard Shaw

British Dictionary definitions for colly


noun plural -lies

soot or grime, such as coal dust

verb collies, collying or collied

(tr) to begrime; besmirch

Word Origin for colly

C16: ultimately from Old English col coal
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