View synonyms for column


[ kol-uhm ]


  1. Architecture.
    1. a rigid, relatively slender, upright support, composed of relatively few pieces.
    2. a decorative pillar, most often composed of stone and typically having a cylindrical or polygonal shaft with a capital and usually a base.
  2. any columnlike object, mass, or formation:

    a column of smoke.

  3. a vertical row or list:

    Add this column of figures.

  4. a vertical arrangement on a page of horizontal lines of type, usually typographically justified:

    There are three columns on this page.

  5. a regular feature or series of articles in a newspaper, magazine, or the like, usually having a readily identifiable heading and the byline of the writer or editor, that reports or comments upon a particular field of interest, as politics, theater, or etiquette, or which may contain letters from readers, answers to readers' queries, etc.
  6. a long, narrow formation of troops in which there are more members in line in the direction of movement than at right angles to the direction ( line 1def 35 ).
  7. a formation of ships in single file.
  8. Botany. a columnlike structure in an orchid flower, composed of the united stamens and style.


/ ˈkɒləmˌneɪtɪd; ˈkɒləm; kəˈlʌmnə /


  1. an upright post or pillar usually having a cylindrical shaft, a base, and a capital
    1. a form or structure in the shape of a column

      a column of air

    2. a monument
  2. a row, line, or file, as of people in a queue
  3. military a narrow formation in which individuals or units follow one behind the other
  4. journalism
    1. any of two or more vertical sections of type on a printed page, esp on a newspaper page
    2. a regular article or feature in a paper

      the fashion column

  5. a vertical array of numbers or mathematical terms
  6. botany a long structure in a flower, such as that of an orchid, consisting of the united stamens and style
  7. anatomy zoology any elongated structure, such as a tract of grey matter in the spinal cord or the stalk of a crinoid

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Derived Forms

  • columnar, adjective
  • ˈcolumned, adjective
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Other Words From

  • columned [kol, -, uh, md], col·um·nat·ed [kol, -, uh, m-ney-tid], adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of column1

1400–50; late Middle English columne < Latin columna, equivalent to colum ( e ) n peak + -a feminine ending; akin to excel; replacing late Middle English colompne < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
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Word History and Origins

Origin of column1

C15: from Latin columna, from columen top, peak; related to Latin collis hill
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Synonym Study

Column, pillar refer to upright supports in architectural structures. Pillar is the general word: the pillars supporting the roof. A column is a particular kind of pillar, especially one with an identifiable shaft, base, and capital: columns of the Corinthian order.
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Example Sentences

In the figure below, the column on the left is a list of all pages.

In a recent newspaper column, Josefowitz wrote about the pandemic affording free time to tackle procrastinated tasks.

When placed on the column, each ring slid down to its correct position, if possible.

A pressure sensor on a tag attached to a shark’s fin recorded the animal’s swimming depth at one-second intervals as the shark moved up and down in the water column.

At the end of my five-day experiment, I created a spreadsheet of my results, with each group getting its own column.

Sometimes a column has the economy and rhythm of a short story.

Later that night, that same black-and-red banner would be seen again—in the column of marchers chanting for dead cops.

He branded it a fifth-column invasion into popular culture, normalizing radical, even communist ambitions.

My editor called and said, “Do a column on this Lena Dunham flap!”

His sign was the last one people saw as the column of marchers passed them, it read, “Am I next?”

My two eyes haven't quite the same focal length and this often puts me out of the straight with a column of figures.

The very first chords which Mademoiselle Reisz struck upon the piano sent a keen tremor down Mrs. Pontellier's spinal column.

He leaned against that same stone column, thinking, searching in his mind, feeling acutely.

Track of the count may be kept by placing a mark for each leukocyte in its appropriate column, ruled upon paper.

The last thing—against the skyline—a little column of French soldiers of the line charging back upwards towards the lost redoubt.


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