Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n. pl. col·o·nies
a. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
b. A territory thus settled.
2. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a dependency.
a. A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular area: the American colony in Paris.
b. The area occupied by such a group.
4. Colonies The British colonies that became the original 13 states of the United States.
5. A group of people who have been institutionalized in a relatively remote area: an island penal colony.
6. A group of the same kind of animals, plants, or one-celled organisms living or growing together.
7. A visible growth of microorganisms, usually in a solid or semisolid nutrient medium.
[Middle English colonie, from Latin colōnia, from colōnus, settler, from colere, to cultivate; see kwel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Historical Terms) Brit the subject territories formerly in the British Empire
2. (Historical Terms) history US the 13 states forming the original United States of America when they declared their independence (1776). These were Connecticut, North and South Carolina, Delaware, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and New Jersey
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014