"pertaining to or belonging to a colony," 1756, from Latin colonia (see colony) + -al (1), or directly from colony on model of baronoinal. In U.S., especially "from or characteristic of America during colonial times" (1776). The noun meaning "inhabitant of a colony, a colonist" is recorded from 1816.
word-forming element making nouns implying a practice, system, doctrine, etc., from French -isme or directly from Latin -isma, -ismus (source also of Italian, Spanish -ismo, Dutch, German -ismus), from Greek -ismos, noun ending signifying the practice or teaching of a thing, from the stem of verbs in -izein, a verb-forming element denoting the doing of the noun or adjective to which it is attached. For distinction of use, see -ity. The related Greek suffix -isma(t)- affects some forms.