[kol-uh m]
See more synonyms for column on
  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 (distinguished from line1def 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.

Origin of column

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
Related formscol·umned [kol-uh md] /ˈkɒl əmd/, col·um·nat·ed [kol-uh m-ney-tid] /ˈkɒl əmˌneɪ tɪd/, adjective

Synonym study

1. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for column

Contemporary Examples of column

Historical Examples of column

British Dictionary definitions for column


  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 columna 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 paperthe 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
Derived Formscolumnar (kəˈlʌmnə), adjectivecolumned or columnated (ˈkɒləmˌneɪtɪd), adjective

Word Origin for column

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

Word Origin and History for column

mid-15c., "vertical division of a page," also "a pillar, post," from Old French colombe (12c., Modern French colonne "column, pillar"), from Latin columna "pillar," collateral form of columen "top, summit," from PIE root *kel- "to project" (see hill). Sense of "matter written for a newspaper" dates from 1785.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

column in Medicine


  1. Any of various tubular or pillarlike supporting structures in the body, such as the spinal column, each generally having a single tissue origin and function.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.