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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 colonized
  • Historically, those countries were colonized and exploited by the rich nations.
  • Plants and animals have gradually re-colonized parts of the blown-down forests and mud-filled valleys.
  • Mammals are born with sterile digestive tracts, which are quickly colonized by bacteria, generally from their mothers.
  • When the platforms were at sea level they were colonized by mollusks.
  • We walk on two legs, carry around enormous brains and have colonized every corner of the globe.
  • Neighboring plankton species colonized one tank via the wind but not another.
  • Because a new study finds that it's our body temperature that keeps us from being widely colonized by fungi.
  • But you want those spaces to be rapidly colonized by the next generation of corals.
  • The alien had colonized a bit of my lung as well as quite a bit of my lymph node.
  • The moon isn't a place that should be colonized, in fact it's not suitable for colonization.
British Dictionary definitions for colonized


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 colonized
1620s, from stem of L. colonus, or directly from Eng. colony. Related: Colonized, pp. adj. (1620s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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