the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.
the system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence.
the state or condition of being colonial.
an idea, custom, or practice peculiar to a colony.

1850–55; colonial + -ism

colonialist, noun, adjective
colonialistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To colonialism
World English Dictionary
colonialism (kəˈləʊnɪəˌlɪzəm)
Also called: imperialism the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1853, "ways or speech of colonial persons," from colonial + -ism. Meaning "the system of colonial rule" is from 1886.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

colonialism definition

The control of one nation by “transplanted” people of another nation — often a geographically distant nation that has a different culture and dominant racial or ethnic group. (See ethnicity.)

Note: A classic example of colonialism is the control of India by Britain from the eighteenth century to 1947.
Note: Control that is economic and cultural, rather than political, is often called neocolonialism.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Colonialism is also susceptible of accurate definition.
Then with colonialism, the language started taking words from everywhere.
It defeated fascism, shed colonialism, outlasted communism and survived more than one crisis of its own making.
Shamanism, colonialism, and the wild man a study in terror and healing.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature