Definition of colonial in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈlōnyəl/


1Relating to or characteristic of a colony or colonies: British colonial rule colonial expansion
More example sentences
  • The chartered companies of northern Europe were eventually unable to keep up with the demands of colonial expansion, territorial rule, and provision of security.
  • The Commonwealth became the regional power, exercising colonial rule in Papua, then in New Guinea and in Nauru.
  • As colonial rule established itself and regions hitherto inaccessible became safe enough for plant collectors to travel in, many new bulb species found their way back to the nurseryman and then the gardener.
1.1Relating to the period of the British colonies in America before independence.
1.2(Especially of architecture or furniture) made during or in the style of this period.
Example sentences
  • Pedimented late colonial case furniture, for example, could not support cases of silver of the period, so they were placed instead on earlier oak chests.
  • The furniture was late colonial style, red cherry that was still shining in its newness.
  • Despite his intolerance for hybrid colonial furniture, Nutting was forced to capitalize on the market for institutional furniture.
2(Of animals or plants) living in colonies.
Example sentences
  • This is consistent with certain biotic associations in modern colonial corals.
  • Plus, diving by other raptors is similar to that of kites in most respects, except other species are not colonial or as numerous as kites, nor are they as likely to nest on or near golf courses.
  • Raptors are territorial, but some species are colonial, a situation that may place males at a higher EPC risk.


1A native or inhabitant of a colony.
Example sentences
  • Slaves weren't colonials, they were the property of colonials.
  • The borders were chosen by European colonials trying to parcel out territories; little consideration was given to the natural borders formed by the ethnic groups, which were then split by the new lines.
  • Cloud Atlas begins in the mid-19th Century on Chatham island near New Zealand where a peace-loving Moriori tribe faces extinction at the hands not only of exploitative colonials but also the rival Maori.
2A house built in colonial style.
Example sentences
  • Jake regarded the huge old style colonial with a wide sweeping front porch for a minute as the rest of the team was scrambling from the van.
  • Many of those homes in the Lakeview area were solid brick colonials, two-story homes.
  • It is a two-story square colonial with a double hip roof.



Example sentences
  • In colonially nesting Razorbills, a seabird traditionally viewed as monogamous with biparental care, both sexes attend mating arenas to obtain extrapair copulations (EPCs).
  • At the present, local systems for the allocation of property, Islamic law, and colonially derived property rules (mostly affecting parcels in urban areas) coexist, but not without conflict, side by side.
  • The book's central characters begin to define themselves against a colonially defined and internalized isolation, fear, or even pride only with the support of others who also have experienced oppression.

Words that rhyme with colonial

baronial, ceremonial, matrimonial, monial, neocolonial, postcolonial, patrimonial, testimonial

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: co·lo·ni·al

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