Definition of colonize in English:


Syllabification: col·o·nize
Pronunciation: /ˈkäləˌnīz


[with object]
  • 1(Of a country or its citizens) send a group of 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), people, populate; occupy, take over, seize, capture, subjugate
  • 1.1Come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area): a white family that tries to colonize a Caribbean island
    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.
    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 [no object]: insect borers colonize in rotted shoreline deadfalls
    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: /ˌkälənəˈzāSHən/
More example sentences
  • Quite soon, however, the invader's aims broadened into conquest and colonization on an unprecedented scale.
  • North America isn't just a melting pot for human immigrants - it has always been subject to animal colonisation.
  • In 1710, it was used as the governor's office of Jakarta during the Dutch colonization.


More 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.

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