View synonyms for colony



[ kol-uh-nee ]


, plural col·o·nies.
  1. a country or territory claimed and forcibly taken control of by a foreign power which sends its own people to settle there:

    Many African nations are former European colonies.

  2. a group of people who leave their native country to form a settlement in a territory that their own government has claimed and forcibly taken control of:

    The Spanish colony in Mexico was numerous, powerful, and rich.

  3. any people or territory separated from but subject to a ruling power.
  4. the Colonies, the British territories that formed the original 13 states of the United States: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
  5. a number of people coming from the same country or speaking the same language, residing in a foreign country or city or in a particular section of it; enclave:

    There is a sizable Polish colony in Israel.

    1. any group of individuals having similar interests, occupations, etc., usually living in a particular locality; community:

      After college she joined a colony of artists in Florence.

    2. the district, quarter, or dwellings inhabited by such a group:

      The Greek island is now an artists' colony.

    Synonyms: band, body

  6. Microbiology. a collection or mass of bacteria growing together as the descendants of a single cell.
  7. Ecology. a group of organisms of the same kind living or growing in close association.



[ kol-uh-nee ]


  1. The, a city in NE Texas.


/ ˈkɒlənɪ /


  1. a body of people who settle in a country distant from their homeland but maintain ties with it
  2. the community formed by such settlers
  3. a subject territory occupied by a settlement from the ruling state
    1. a community of people who form a national, racial, or cultural minority

      the American colony in London

      an artists' colony

    2. the area itself
  4. zoology
    1. a group of the same type of animal or plant living or growing together, esp in large numbers
    2. an interconnected group of polyps of a colonial organism
  5. bacteriol a group of bacteria, fungi, etc, derived from one or a few spores, esp when grown on a culture medium


/ kŏlə-nē /

  1. A group of the same kind of animals, plants, or one-celled organisms living or growing together. Organisms live in colonies for their mutual benefit, and especially their protection. Multicellular organisms may have evolved out of colonies of unicellular organisms.

Discover More

Other Words From

  • sem·i·col·o·ny noun plural semicolonies
  • sub·col·o·ny noun plural subcolonies

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of colony1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English colonie, from Middle French or directly from Latin colōnia, from colōn(us) colonus + -ia -y 3

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of colony1

C16: from Latin colōnia, from colere to cultivate, inhabit

Discover More

Example Sentences

They believe it could explain how mole-rat colonies are able to organize and sustain themselves.

So, queens may somehow control the “voice” with which her colony speaks.

She saw my rigor in writing all my methods down, detailing which colonies had been picked, each with individual genetic signatures—and each one needing to be cultured, PCR’d, and genotyped.

This tribute forced five Canarian families to be relocated to the American colonies in exchange for every ton of goods those colonies shipped back to Spain.

He’d parked his colonies on a farm three hours north of San Francisco in January.

Krivov was sentenced to serve four years at a general regime penal colony for his fight for freedom and human rights.

Historically, the Puritans banned Christmas from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1659.

He was born in the country, which was a British colony called Northern Rhodesia at the time, but his parents were not.

I still think of America,” she once told an interviewer, “as a colony of Europe.

And by the way, if we really are just a colony of Europe, where did the rock and roll she professed to love so much come from?

The Majesty on high has a colony and a people on earth, which otherwise is under the supremacy of the Evil One.

Hamo in alluding to the early cultivation of tobacco by the colony, says, that John Rolfe was the pioneer tobacco planter.

This was in 1616, when the colony numbered only three hundred and fifty-one persons.

Soon after that, I wrote you in regard to the condition in which we found this infant Church and Colony.

William Penn, published in England his frame of government for the colony of Pennsylvania.


Related Words

Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




colonuscolony collapse disorder