colony (n.)

late 14c., "ancient Roman settlement outside Italy," from Latin colonia "settled land, farm, landed estate," from colonus "husbandman, tenant farmer, settler in new land," from colere "to cultivate, to till; to inhabit; to frequent, practice, respect; tend, guard," from PIE root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round; sojourn, dwell" (source also of Latin -cola "inhabitant"). Also used by the Romans to translate Greek apoikia "people from home."

In reference to modern situations, "company or body of people who migrate from their native country to cultivate and inhabit a new place while remaining subject to the mother country," attested from 1540s. Meaning "a country or district colonized" is by 1610s.

Origin and meaning of colony

updated on October 13, 2021

Definitions of colony from WordNet
colony (n.)
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
Synonyms: settlement
colony (n.)
a group of organisms of the same type living or growing together;
colony (n.)
a place where a group of people with the same interest or occupation are concentrated;
a nudist colony
an artists' colony
colony (n.)
a geographical area politically controlled by a distant country;
Synonyms: dependency
colony (n.)
(microbiology) a group of organisms grown from a single parent cell;
Colony (n.)
one of the 13 British colonies that formed the original states of the United States;
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.