View synonyms for colonize


[ kol-uh-nahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, col·o·nized, col·o·niz·ing.
    1. (of a nation or government) to claim and forcibly take control of (a territory other than its own), usually sending some of its own people to settle there:

      England colonized Australia.

    2. to move from one’s own country and settle in (such a territory):

      Dutch farmers were among the first Europeans to colonize the river valleys of New Jersey and New York.

  1. to be the first settlers in:

    Southern Pacific islanders are thought to have colonized Hawaii around a.d. 450.

  2. to compel or induce (people) to settle in an area for economic or political purposes:

    The government made efforts to colonize laborers and their families in areas suitable for growing rice.

  3. Biology. (of a species of plant or animal) to move or be transported to (a new habitat) and seek to become established there:

    Arthropods were the first animal species to colonize land around 450 million years ago.

  4. Microbiology, Medicine/Medical. (of a microbe) to multiply on or in (another organism), especially without causing infection or disease:

    Researchers attempted to get the bacteria in a probiotic to successfully colonize the intestines of 23 volunteers.

verb (used without object)

, col·o·nized, col·o·niz·ing.
  1. to take control of or settle in territories other than one’s own:

    Many other European powers were colonizing during the modern period besides France.

    When the British colonized in Australia, the basic rights of Aboriginals were taken away.


/ ˈkɒləˌnaɪz /


  1. to send colonists to or establish a colony in (an area)
  2. to settle in (an area) as colonists
  3. tr to transform (a community) into a colony
  4. (of plants and animals) to become established in (a new environment)

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Derived Forms

  • ˈcoloˌnizable, adjective
  • ˌcoloniˈzation, noun
  • ˈcoloˌnizer, noun
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Other Words From

  • col·o·niz·a·ble adjective
  • col·o·niz·a·bil·i·ty [kol-, uh, -nahy-z, uh, -, bil, -i-tee], noun
  • col·o·ni·za·tion [kol-, uh, -nahy-, zey, -sh, uh, n], noun
  • col·o·ni·za·tion·ist noun
  • col·o·niz·er noun
  • in·ter·col·o·ni·za·tion noun
  • in·ter·col·o·nize verb intercolonized intercolonizing
  • re·col·o·ni·za·tion noun
  • re·col·o·nize verb (used with object) recolonized recolonizing
  • un·col·o·nize verb (used with object) uncolonized uncolonizing
  • well-col·o·nized adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of colonize1

First recorded in 1615–25; colon(y) + -ize
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Example Sentences

What home canning entails, in the most rudimentary of explanations, is the use of heat to create enough pressure to seal your canning jars and prevent bacteria from colonizing its contents.

These tools open up new markets and new ways to extract resources, but what the innovator sees as progress often brings unwanted change to communities colonized by imported technologies and their makers’ ambitions.

As inconceivable as it still sounds, the wheels have been set in motion for humans to one day reach and colonize Mars.

Humanity’s attempt to colonize the moon will give us a good sense of the challenges we might face on Mars.

Developed countries must also boost financial support for the developing world, where billions of people in formerly-colonized countries bear the disproportionate impacts from climate-related disasters.

From Time

“We are not saying we need to colonize the moon or anything crazy like that,” he added.

But executives have a lot to do with the larger agenda to emasculate and colonize.

Coastal construction gives them more places for their polyp stages to colonize.

The situation will remain the same: Israel will continue to illegally colonize just as it has for decades.

Her ancestors were Englishmen long ago, who upon the very British idea of colonialism left to colonize the Barbados.

There were over a thousand people in this expedition that was going out to colonize Oregon for the United States.

She cannot be assailed with success at home, and she has no need to leave her own territories in search of lands to colonize.

Theyll have their atomic war pretty soon, and leave us a nice high-radiation planet to colonize.

The border is an excellent place in which to colonize native or other interesting plants.

The next expedition seems to have been a project to colonize the country.


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