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column

[kol-uh m] /ˈkɒl əm/
noun
1.
Architecture.
  1. a rigid, relatively slender, upright support, composed of relatively few pieces.
  2. a decorative pillar, most often composed of stone and typically having a cylindrical or polygonal shaft with a capital and usually a base.
2.
any columnlike object, mass, or formation:
a column of smoke.
3.
a vertical row or list:
Add this column of figures.
4.
a vertical arrangement on a page of horizontal lines of type, usually typographically justified:
There are three columns on this page.
5.
a regular feature or series of articles in a newspaper, magazine, or the like, usually having a readily identifiable heading and the byline of the writer or editor, that reports or comments upon a particular field of interest, as politics, theater, or etiquette, or which may contain letters from readers, answers to readers' queries, etc.
6.
a long, narrow formation of troops in which there are more members in line in the direction of movement than at right angles to the direction (distinguished from line1 (def 35.)).
7.
a formation of ships in single file.
8.
Botany. a columnlike structure in an orchid flower, composed of the united stamens and style.
Origin of column
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English columne < Latin columna, equivalent to colum(e)n peak + -a feminine ending; akin to excel; replacing late Middle English colompne < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
columned
[kol-uh md] /ˈkɒl əmd/ (Show IPA),
columnated
[kol-uh m-ney-tid] /ˈkɒl əmˌneɪ tɪd/ (Show IPA),
adjective
Synonyms
1. Column, pillar refer to upright supports in architectural structures. Pillar is the general word: the pillars supporting the roof. A column is a particular kind of pillar, especially one with an identifiable shaft, base, and capital: columns of the Corinthian order.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for column
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The third column was composed of the whole disposable force of the irregulars.

    Our Soldiers W.H.G. Kingston
  • Vesuvius, with its column of smoke, was in plain view from the seats.

  • column by column she revised her figures—and made the humiliating discovery of her first mistake.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
  • The answer was quickly given and ran through the column from front to rear.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • The column was necessarily closely packed, and as it waded through the snow the fire of the concealed enemy soon opened upon it.

British Dictionary definitions for column

column

/ˈkɒləm/
noun
1.
an upright post or pillar usually having a cylindrical shaft, a base, and a capital
2.
  1. a form or structure in the shape of a column: a column of air
  2. a monument
3.
a row, line, or file, as of people in a queue
4.
(military) a narrow formation in which individuals or units follow one behind the other
5.
(journalism)
  1. any of two or more vertical sections of type on a printed page, esp on a newspaper page
  2. a regular article or feature in a paper: the fashion column
6.
a vertical array of numbers or mathematical terms
7.
(botany) a long structure in a flower, such as that of an orchid, consisting of the united stamens and style
8.
(anatomy, zoology) any elongated structure, such as a tract of grey matter in the spinal cord or the stalk of a crinoid
Derived Forms
columnar (kəˈlʌmnə) adjective
columned, columnated (ˈkɒləmˌneɪtɪd) adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin columna, from columen top, peak; related to Latin collis hill
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 column
n.

mid-15c., "vertical division of a page," also "a pillar, post," from Old French colombe (12c., Modern French colonne "column, pillar"), from Latin columna "pillar," collateral form of columen "top, summit," from PIE root *kel- "to project" (see hill). Sense of "matter written for a newspaper" dates from 1785.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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column in Medicine

column col·umn (kŏl'əm)
n.
Any of various tubular or pillarlike supporting structures in the body, such as the spinal column, each generally having a single tissue origin and function.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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column in Technology


1. A named slice through a database table that includes the same field of each row. For example, a telephone directory table might have a row for each person with a name column and a telephone number column.
2. A line of memory cells in a dynamic random-access memory, that is selected by a particular column address.
(2007-10-12)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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