Definition of collation in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈlāSHən/


1The action of collating something: data management and collation
More example sentences
  • JG managed the study and was involved in data collection, collation and analysis, drafting the paper, and intellectual content.
  • As a consequence, the important benefits of collation and comparison of data from different sources are lost.
  • The collection, collation, and aggregation of these technology-specific elements develop into the technical requirements for a backup and recovery solution.
2A light, informal meal.
Example sentences
  • They are eaten with pates or cold collations, their gently acidic snap making a most pleasant counterpoint to the fatty meat.
  • Lamb dishes are also the specialty of Sheep Tower, which opened last month and which touts its cold collation of heart, tendon, aspic and stomach of the sheep, or for even greater intimacy, there is the sheep kidney and testicle pot.
  • Many 19th-century lunches appear to have been collations of leftovers, often roast meat, served cold or hashed, supplemented with salad, poultry, or game, plus bread, cheese, and puddings, as the household could afford and required.
2.1(In the Roman Catholic Church) a light meal allowed during a fast.
Example sentences
  • Reared during the time when one square meal and two collations was the order of the day for Lent, giving up something like sweets is a minor detail.
  • One whole meal and two collations each day, abstinence from flesh meat on Ash Wednesday, Spy Wednesday and Fridays.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin collation-, from conferre (see confer). Originally (in the plural) the term denoted John Cassian's Collationes Patrum in Scetica Eremo Commorantium 'Conferences of, or with, the Egyptian Hermits' ( ad 415–20), from which a reading would be given in Benedictine communities prior to a light meal (see sense 2).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: col·la·tion

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