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[kol-uh-nahyz] /ˈkɒl əˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), colonized, colonizing.
to establish a colony in; settle:
England colonized Australia.
to form a colony of:
to colonize laborers in a mining region.
verb (used without object), colonized, colonizing.
to form a colony:
They went out to Australia to colonize.
to settle in a colony.
Also, especially British, colonise.
1615-25; colon(y) + -ize
Related forms
colonizable, adjective
colonizability, noun
colonization, noun
colonizationist, noun
colonizer, noun
intercolonization, noun
intercolonize, verb, intercolonized, intercolonizing.
recolonization, noun
recolonize, verb (used with object), recolonized, recolonizing.
uncolonize, verb (used with object), uncolonized, uncolonizing.
well-colonized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for colonization
  • The proposed robust human space flight program doesn't involve permanent colonization.
  • Political colonization has been replaced by economic colonization.
  • colonization should be next, with an emphasis on developing industrial facilities that can be self sufficient, and profitable.
  • They have no history of colonization of imperialism.
  • The study suggests that the arrival of farming did not signal a broad wave of colonization as some scientists had thought.
  • But at some point our ancestors began to move out of their motherland, marking the start of global colonization.
  • The additives are used to prevent static buildup, reduce stickiness and eliminate bacterial colonization.
  • It is really a kind of economic colonization that replaced the political colonization of the past.
  • It also serves us to look for planets habitable to our physiology for colonization possibilities.
  • The coconut's evolutionary history is intertwined with the complex history of human migration, trade and colonization.
British Dictionary definitions for colonization


to send colonists to or establish a colony in (an area)
to settle in (an area) as colonists
(transitive) to transform (a community) into a colony
(of plants and animals) to become established in (a new environment)
Derived Forms
colonizable, colonisable, adjective
colonization, colonisation, noun
colonizer, coloniser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for colonization
1620s, from stem of L. colonus, or directly from Eng. colony. Related: Colonized, pp. adj. (1620s).
1770, noun of action from colonize (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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colonization in Science
The spreading of a species into a new habitat. For example, flying insects and birds are often the first animal species to initiate colonization of barren islands newly formed by vulcanism or falling water levels. The first plant species to colonize such islands are often transported there as airborne seeds or through the droppings of birds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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