[ kol-ee ]

verb (used with object),col·lied, col·ly·ing.
  1. to blacken as with coal dust; begrime.

  1. grime; soot.

Origin of colly

1555–65; variant of collow (v.), Middle English colwen, derivative of Old English colcoal; see -y1

Words Nearby colly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use colly in a sentence

  • Thin ye will 'ave done no more than Master colly, who has already robbed 'im ov twa—the haffections ov 'is wife an' bairn.

    The Boy Slaves | Mayne Reid
  • In another, a colly dog jumped over a coffin which a funeral party had set on the ground while they rested.

    Russian Fairy Tales | W. R. S. Ralston
  • I'll take your old clothes, colly, sooner than disgrace you by talking to you in the street in my own; but I wont borrow money.

    The Doctor's Dilemma | George Bernard Shaw
  • The kitchen was empty, and silent too, except for the tick of the clock and the colly's labored breathing.

    A Son of Hagar | Sir Hall Caine
  • With a great burst of bleating they dashed off, the colly running after them.

    Glimpses of Three Coasts | Helen Hunt Jackson

British Dictionary definitions for colly


/ (ˈkɒlɪ) archaic, or dialect /

nounplural -lies
  1. soot or grime, such as coal dust

verbcollies, collying or collied
  1. (tr) to begrime; besmirch

Origin of 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