What does colony mean?

Definitions for colony
ˈkɒl ə nicolony

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word colony.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. colony, settlementnoun

    a body of people who settle far from home but maintain ties with their homeland; inhabitants remain nationals of their home state but are not literally under the home state's system of government

    "the American colony in Paris"

  2. colonynoun

    a group of organisms of the same type living or growing together

  3. Colonynoun

    one of the 13 British colonies that formed the original states of the United States

  4. colonynoun

    a place where a group of people with the same interest or occupation are concentrated

    "a nudist colony"; "an artists' colony"

  5. colony, dependencynoun

    a geographical area politically controlled by a distant country

  6. colonynoun

    (microbiology) a group of organisms grown from a single parent cell


  1. Colonynoun

    a territory subject to the ruling governmental authority of another country and not a part of the ruling country.

  2. Colonynoun

    (Bot.) A cell family or group of common origin, mostly of unicellular organisms, esp. among the lower alg

  3. Colonynoun

    (Microbiology) a group of microorganisms originating as the descendents of one individual cell, growing on a gelled growth medium, as of gelatin or agar; especially, such a group that has grown to a sufficient number to be visible to the naked eye.


  1. colonynoun

    A settlement of emigrants who move to a new place, but remain culturally tied to their original place

  2. colonynoun

    Region or governmental unit created by another country and generally ruled by another country.

  3. colonynoun

    A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular geographic area

  4. colonynoun

    A group of organisms of same or different species living together in close association.

  5. colonynoun

    A collective noun for rabbits.

  6. Etymology: From colonia, from colonus, from colo, from earlier *, from kʷel-.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. COLONYnoun

    Etymology: colonia, Latin.

    To these new inhabitants and colonies he gave the same law under which they were born and bred. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Rooting out these two rebellious septs, he placed English colonies in their rooms. John Davies, on Ireland.

    Osiris, or the Bacchus of the ancients, is reported to have civilized the Indians, planting colonies and building cities. John Arbuthnot, on Coins.

    The rising city, which from far you see,
    Is Carthage; and a Trojan colony. John Dryden, Virg. Æn.


  1. colony

    A colony is a territory or group of people living in one place, usually under the control or authority of a distant country or entity. This may involve colonization in terms of settlement and development of new areas, or the establishment of a new group with common interests or shared traits. The term can also extend to non-human organisms, where a Colony refers to a group living and functioning together, such as ants or birds.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Colonynoun

    a company of people transplanted from their mother country to a remote province or country, and remaining subject to the jurisdiction of the parent state; as, the British colonies in America

  2. Colonynoun

    the district or country colonized; a settlement

  3. Colonynoun

    a company of persons from the same country sojourning in a foreign city or land; as, the American colony in Paris

  4. Colonynoun

    a number of animals or plants living or growing together, beyond their usual range

  5. Etymology: [L. colonia, fr. colonus farmer, fr. colere to cultivate, dwell: cf. F. colonie. Cf. Culture.]


  1. Colony

    In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception. The metropolitan state is the state that owns the colony. In Ancient Greece, the city that founded a colony was called the metropolis. Mother country is a reference to the metropolitan state from the point of view of citizens who live in its colony. There is a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. Unlike a puppet state or satellite state, a colony has no independent international representation, and its top-level administration is under direct control of the metropolitan state. The term informal colony is used by some historians to refer to a country under the de facto control of another state, although this term is often contentious.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Colony

    kol′on-i, n. a name somewhat vaguely applied to the foreign dependencies of a state (a Roman colony was a military settlement planted in subject territory; a Greek colony consisted of a band of emigrants impelled to seek a new home, and connected with their mother-city by no stronger tie than that of sentiment): a body of persons who form a fixed settlement in another country: the settlement so formed: the place they inhabit.—adj. Colōn′ial, pertaining to a colony.—n. an inhabitant of a colony, a colonist.—ns. Colōn′ialism, a trait of colonial life or speech; Colonisā′tion, act or practice of colonising: state of being colonised.—v.t. Col′onise, to plant or establish a colony in: to form into a colony.—v.i. to settle.—n. Col′onist, an inhabitant of a colony.—Colonial animals, organisms which cannot be fairly regarded as unities, but consist of numerous individuals united in a common life; Colonial system, the theory that the settlements abroad were to be treated as proprietary domains exploited for the benefit of the mother-country. [L. coloniacolonus, a husbandman—colĕre, to till.]

Suggested Resources

  1. colony

    Song lyrics by colony -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by colony on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colony is ranked #58337 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Colony surname appeared 348 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Colony.

    94.8% or 330 total occurrences were White.
    1.7% or 6 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.7% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'colony' in Nouns Frequency: #1770

How to pronounce colony?

How to say colony in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of colony in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of colony in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of colony in a Sentence

  1. Andrea Crawford:

    They are a vulnerable species that need all the help they can get, it’s unlikely the Otago Peninsula colony would exist at all without ongoing human intervention, including the control of introduced predators such as stoats and cats.

  2. American Paul Whelan:

    It is both awful and mundane, just another day that Paul has to suffer in a Russian labor colony for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another day that our parents have to suffer without being able to see or be with their son, it is both a culmination of lost life – four years of missed birthdays, Christmases, and other experiences – and also not an end point.

  3. James Horn:

    They saw some of the most challenging times for Virginia's history and helped save the colony and ultimately helped save English America.

  4. Sudarshan Suchi:

    If previously an earthquake or flood came into a small village or colony, everybody came together and found ways to rescue. When Covid comes, the first thought everybody has is keep away, it's an unknown ghost. People with collective spirit and traditions of community action are partly wary today of these kinds of things.

  5. Puerto Rico:

    No relationship between a colony and the federal government can ever be called ‘successful’ because Puerto Ricans lack certain inalienable rights enjoyed by our fellow Americans in the states. The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and unAmerican. It is certainly not a successful relationship, this was the worst natural disaster in our modern history. Our basic infrastructure was devastated, thousands of our people lost their lives and many others still struggle.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for colony

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"colony." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/colony>.

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    the act of making a noisy disturbance
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