Definition of colonize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒlənʌɪz/
(also colonise)


[with object]
1Send settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it: the Greeks colonized Sicily and southern Italy
More example sentences
  • Indigenous peoples shared their land with the newcomers and eventually it became more than sharing as the settlers colonized the continent and waged an undeclared war against Indigneous peoples.
  • Writer Peter Pierce believes that the fear of being lost in hostile desert or bushland has been deeply etched into the Australian psyche ever since Europeans colonised the southern continent.
  • They don't necessarily need to send in troops - they send in men in suits and they colonise the place financially.
settle (in), establish a colony in, people, populate, pioneer, open up, found;
overrun, occupy, take over, seize, capture, take possession of, annex, subjugate, hegemonize
1.1Settle among and establish control over (the indigenous people of an area): they sought to discredit the peoples they were colonizing (as plural noun the colonized) an organization seeking to protect the rights of the newly colonized
More example sentences
  • That this pattern is so similar across all colonised indigenous groups is one reason for having a theme issue devoted to their health.
  • The Bible which has been used as a tool to oppress, subjugate and colonize indigenous people has proved to be even more powerful a weapon than the European's firearms.
  • The ‘Others’ were the colonized indigenous people, immigrants, and people of color who were outside the controlled, managed garden.
1.2Appropriate (a place or domain) for one’s own use: a small town in a part of the Hudson Valley fast being colonized by weekenders
More example sentences
  • As capitalism colonises new territory, that territory should not be abandoned.
  • Philosophy is very difficult to justify at the moment, mainly because discourses of science have colonised much of the subject over the last two and a half thousand years - and continue to do so.
  • The advocates claim that enforcing prohibitions against colonizing public and private space penalizes street vagrants merely for being homeless.
1.3 Ecology (Of a plant or animal) establish itself in (an area): mussels can colonize even the most inhospitable rock surfaces
More example sentences
  • Both grasses often colonize continuous expanses of desert, closing the open spaces that normally separate native desert plants and protect them from fire.
  • This season, more than 30,000 birds, belonging to 30 species, have colonised the place.
  • In recent decades, it has colonized such far-flung places as Cape Cod, and in 1999 one was captured in New York City's Central Park.



Pronunciation: /ˈkɒlənʌɪzə/
Example sentences
  • But when the colonizers appeared, they created power structures that weren't accountable in the same way.
  • As with any country that's had its share of occupiers and colonizers, the Philippines boasts a diverse cuisine with influences from all over the map.
  • In this province, unlike most provinces in Canada, the colonizers for the most part, did not enter into treaties with Indigenous peoples.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: col¦on|ize

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