Share this entry

Share this page


Syllabification: col·leen
Pronunciation: /kəˈlēn, ˈkälˌēn

Definition of colleen in English:


An Irish term for a girl or young woman.
Example sentences
  • It is ironic that what O'Casey was satirising in some of his later plays, the dancing colleens at the crossroads blessed by big bellied bishops, is what, in effect, is celebrated in that father of all cash cows Riverdance.
  • Sally McCullough and Marie Murphy nudged the Slaney in front, but two games later the Collins' colleens were back on level terms, Brenda Deegan and Jackie McMullan producing the winning arrows.
  • A tireless worker all her life, she is a brave colleen and she shows what a woman can do when she puts her mind to it.


early 19th century: from Irish cailin, diminutive of caile 'countrywoman'.

Definition of colleen in:

Share this entry

Share this page


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…