- noun a group of animals, plants or microorganisms living together in a place
- noun a country or area ruled and/or settled by another country
- noun a group of people from the same foreign country, settled in a town, who form a separate social group
Origin & History of “colony”
Etymologically, a colony is a ‘settled land’. The word goes back ultimately to the Indo-European base *qwel-, *qwol-, which signified ‘move around’ (it is the source of English cycle and wheel) and hence ‘move habitually in, settle in, inhabit’. One of the descendants of this base was Latin colere ‘inhabit, cultivate’. thus someone who settled on a new piece of land and cultivated it was a colōnus, and the land he settled was his colōnia. (The German city of Cologne gets its name from Latin colōnia; in Roman times it was called Colōnia Agrippīna, the ‘settlement or colony of Agrippa’.).