to gather or arrange in their proper sequence (the pages of a report, the sheets of a book, the pages of several sets of copies, etc.).
Bookbinding. to verify the arrangement of (the gathered sheets of a book), usually by inspecting the signature at the foot of the first page of each sheet or the mark printed on the back of each sheet or on the spine of each signature.
to compare (texts, statements, etc.) in order to note points of agreement or disagreement.
Bibliography. to verify the number and order of the sheets of (a volume) as a means of determining its completeness.
Computers. to merge (sequenced data from two or more data sets or files) to produce a new sequenced data set or file.
Ecclesiastical. to present by collation, as to a benefice.
1610s, from Latin collatus, irregular past participle of conferre "to bring together," from com- "together" (see com-) + latus (see oblate (n.)), serving as past participle of ferre "to bear" (see infer). Related: Collated; collating.