Dictionary.com

colon

1
[ koh-luhn ]
/ ˈkoʊ lən /
Save This Word!

noun, plural co·lons for 1, co·la [koh-luh] /ˈkoʊ lə/ for 2.

the sign (:) used to mark a major division in a sentence, to indicate that what follows is an elaboration, summation, implication, etc., of what precedes; or to separate groups of numbers referring to different things, as hours from minutes in 5:30; or the members of a ratio or proportion, as in 1 : 2 = 3 : 6.
Classical Prosody. one of the members or sections of a rhythmical period, consisting of a sequence of from two to six feet united under a principal ictus or beat.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of colon

1
First recorded in 1580–90; from Latin cōlon, from Greek kôlon “limb; part of a clause or period”

Definition for colon (2 of 5)

colon2
[ koh-luhn ]
/ ˈkoʊ lən /

noun, plural co·lons, co·la [koh-luh]. /ˈkoʊ lə/.

Anatomy. the part of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum.
Zoology. the portion of the digestive tract that is posterior to the stomach or gizzard and extends to the rectum.

Origin of colon

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin, from Greek kólon “large intestine”

Definition for colon (3 of 5)

colon3
[ koh-lohn; Spanish kaw-lawn ]
/ koʊˈloʊn; Spanish kɔˈlɔn /

noun, plural co·lons, Spanish co·lo·nes [kaw-law-nes]. /kɔˈlɔ nɛs/.

the paper monetary unit of El Salvador, equal to 100 centavos. Abbreviation: C.
a cupronickel or steel coin and monetary unit of Costa Rica, equal to 100 centimos.

Origin of colon

3
First recorded in 1890–95; from Latin American Spanish, after (Cristobal) Colón “(Christopher) Columbus”

Definition for colon (4 of 5)

colon4
[ koh-lon, kuh-lon ]
/ ˈkoʊ lɒn, kəˈlɒn /

noun

a colonial farmer or plantation owner, especially in Algeria.

Origin of colon

4
First recorded in 1600–10, in earlier sense “husbandman”; 1955–60 in present sense; from French, from Latin colōnus “colonist, farmer, tenant farmer”

Definition for colon (5 of 5)

Colón
[ koh-lon; Spanish kaw-lawn ]
/ koʊˈlɒn; Spanish kɔˈlɔn /

noun

a seaport in Panama at the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for colon (1 of 5)

colon1
/ (ˈkəʊlən) /

noun

plural -lons the punctuation mark :, usually preceding an explanation or an example of what has gone before, a list, or an extended quotation
plural -lons this mark used for certain other purposes, such as expressions of time, as in 2:45 p.m., or when a ratio is given in figures, as in 5:3
plural -la (-lə) (in classical prosody) a part of a rhythmic period with two to six feet and one principal accent or ictus
C16: from Latin, from Greek kōlon limb, hence part of a strophe, clause of a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for colon (2 of 5)

colon2
/ (ˈkəʊlən) /

noun plural -lons or -la (-lə)

the part of the large intestine between the caecum and the rectum
C16: from Latin: large intestine, from Greek kolon

British Dictionary definitions for colon (3 of 5)

colon3
/ (kəˈlɒn, French kɔlɔ̃) /

noun

a colonial farmer or plantation owner, esp in a French colony
French: colonist, from Latin colōnus, from colere to till, inhabit

British Dictionary definitions for colon (4 of 5)

colón
/ (kəʊˈləʊn, Spanish koˈlon) /

noun plural -lons or -lones (Spanish -ˈlones)

the standard monetary unit of Costa Rica, divided into 100 céntimos
the former standard monetary unit of El Salvador, divided into 100 centavos; replaced by the US dollar in 2001
C19: American Spanish, from Spanish, after Cristóbal Colón Christopher Columbus

British Dictionary definitions for colon (5 of 5)

Colón
/ (kɒˈlɒn, Spanish koˈlɔn) /

noun

a port in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal. Chief Caribbean port. Pop: 157 000 (2005 est)Former name: Aspinwall
Archipiélago de Colón (ˌartʃiˈpjelaɣo ðe) the official name of the Galápagos Islands
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 colon

colon
[ kōlən ]

n. pl. co•lons

The division of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum.
co•lonic (kə-lŏnĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for colon

colon
[ kōlən ]

The longest part of the large intestine, extending from the cecum to the rectum. Water and electrolytes are absorbed, solidified, and prepared for elimination as feces in the colon. The colon also contains bacteria that help in the body's absorption of nutrients from digested material.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for colon (1 of 2)

colon

A punctuation mark (:) used to introduce a description, an explanation, or a list. For example, “She would own only one kind of pet: a Siamese cat” and “The little boy announced that he wanted the following for his birthday: two sweaters, a new tent, and three toy cars.”

Cultural definitions for colon (2 of 2)

colon

The middle and longest part of the large intestine. (See digestive system.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
What's This Word?