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[kol-uh-fon, -fuh n] /ˈkɒl əˌfɒn, -fən/
a publisher's or printer's distinctive emblem, used as an identifying device on its books and other works.
an inscription at the end of a book or manuscript, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, giving the title or subject of the work, its author, the name of the printer or publisher, and the date and place of publication.
1615-25; < Latin < Greek kolophṓn summit, finishing touch
Related forms
colophonic, adjective


[kol-uh-fon] /ˈkɒl əˌfɒn/
an ancient city in Asia Minor: one of the 12 Ionian cities banded together in the 8th century b.c.: largely depopulated in 286 b.c. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for colophon


/ˈkɒləˌfɒn; -fən/
a publisher's emblem on a book
(formerly) an inscription at the end of a book showing the title, printer, date, etc
Word Origin
C17: via Late Latin, from Greek kolophōn a finishing stroke
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for colophon

1774, "publisher's inscription at the end of a book," from Latin colophon, from Greek kolophon "summit, final touch" (see hill).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for colophon

an inscription placed at the end of a book or manuscript and giving details of its publication, e.g., the name of the printer and the date of printing. Colophons are sometimes found in manuscripts and books made from the 6th century AD on. In medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, a colophon was occasionally added by the scribe and provided facts such as his name and the date and place of his completion of the work, sometimes accompanied by an expression of pious thanks for the end of his task.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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