Definition of column in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäləm/


1An upright pillar, typically cylindrical and made of stone or concrete, supporting an entablature, arch, or other structure or standing alone as a monument.
Example sentences
  • Inside, the handsome structure with cast iron columns and jack arches was cleaned and repaired.
  • A coin of Augustus shows what is presumably a square superstructure, with arches on the two faces in view, pilasters or columns, and an entablature but no roof.
  • Cardboard tubes acting as structural columns support the roof panels around the perimeter.
pillar, post, support, upright, baluster, pier, pile, pilaster, stanchion;
obelisk, monolith;
Doric column, Ionic column, Corinthian column, Tuscan column
1.1A vertical, roughly cylindrical thing: a great column of smoke
More example sentences
  • The cards are sorted by artist, in configurations of vertical columns, horizontal bands, rectangles and T-shapes.
  • On the left edge is a thin column of vertical multicolored stripes divided roughly into thirds horizontally.
  • She turned her head north and saw a column of gray smoke, rising quickly, then blowing away.
1.2An upright shaft forming part of a machine and typically used for controlling it: a Spitfire control column
More example sentences
  • The machines are controlled from a column of six isolating switches and two stop buttons.
  • No more skittish landings because of sluggish control columns.
  • It was in Newfoundland that he took his first aerial photographs - using his knees to hold the control column and manhandling a large plate camera over the aircraft's side.
2A vertical division of a page or text.
Example sentences
  • The editor provided a brief general introduction, a plain text in double columns per page, and a glossary at the end.
  • One specific comment, though, is that you should change the color of the lettering in the left-hand column on the main page.
  • In appearance it is very like a modern newspaper, though slightly worse printed, and with only five columns on the page.
2.1A vertical arrangement of figures or other information.
Example sentences
  • The base portions are disposed in a matrix arrangement having rows and columns.
  • In this case, we should put at the intersections between the rows and columns the figures corresponding to the required initial levels of preceding themes or subjects.
  • Carefully crafted summary reports, with columns of figures, spreadsheets, and graphs appended at the end, take time to digest and appreciate.
2.2A section of a newspaper or magazine regularly devoted to a particular subject or written by a particular person.
Example sentences
  • He has been a sports journalist, writing a regular column for a newspaper and a magazine.
  • Both rowers write regular newspaper columns and both are frequently contacted by the media for comment on a wide range of topics.
  • Last year he devoted just three of his weekly syndicated newspaper columns to the subject.
article, piece, item, story, report, account, write-up, feature, review, notice, editorial
3One or more lines of people or vehicles moving in the same direction: a column of tanks moved northwest we walked in a column
More example sentences
  • Knowing she couldn't read it at the moment, she tucked the volume into one of her own saddlebags and spurred her borrowed mount ahead to keep up with the moving column.
  • An assault jeep quickly zoomed ahead of the rest of the moving column, three gunmen disembarking and running forward.
  • There are 500 kids within these walls, but it's calm and quiet even when columns of pupils move from one activity to another.
3.1 Military A narrow-fronted deep formation of troops in successive lines.
Example sentences
  • The artillery and mounted horse holders remained in the center of the square between two additional columns of troops advancing on the formation's east and west flanks.
  • Targets of opportunity, including a column of marching troops, were attacked.
  • His portrayals always feature them as masses of men, either moving in columns or lying in exhausted heaps.
3.2A military force or convoy of ships.
Example sentences
  • Most assaults were directed against U.S. military convoys, columns, or checkpoints.
  • The RAF attacked the retreating Turkish columns, and helped force the Turks back to the Jordan.
  • The general commandeered the entire column and Cooper found himself deploying this massive force for action.



Pronunciation: /kəˈləmnər/
Example sentences
  • The Hot Spring's design is about function as well as good looks - although its columnar shape takes up minimal space, its spiral form ensures maximum surface area for heat output.
  • Suddenly the path crosses a tableland of rock to a deep inlet where the sea surges into the first of the two arches - a headland of columnar basalt with a sea cave that has eroded right through the rock like a tunnel.
  • In their columnar form, these former poems have retroactively come to represent skyscrapers or apartment high-rises.


Pronunciation: /ˈkäləmd/
[often in combination]: a four-columned portico
More example sentences
  • The columned lobby which doubles as the main office, spells opulence.
  • Lining one side of the Forum are stone Medusa faces with eyes that still bedevil the onlooker, whilst at the far end, under a columned portico, the remains of a Roman bar recall present-day cafes in Florentine or Venetian piazzas.
  • He took a picture of it, though, that haunted me for years - a crumbling, columned building, hung about with Spanish moss.


Late Middle English: partly from Old French columpne, reinforced by its source, Latin columna 'pillar'.

Words that rhyme with column

olm, solemn

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: col·umn

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