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col·o·ny (kŏlə-nē)
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n. pl. col·o·nies
1.
a. A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country.
b. A territory thus settled.
2. A region politically controlled by a distant country; a dependency.
3.
a. A group of people with the same interests or ethnic origin concentrated in a particular area: the American colony in Paris.
b. The area occupied by such a group.
4. Colonies The British colonies that became the original 13 states of the United States.
5. A group of people who have been institutionalized in a relatively remote area: an island penal colony.
6. A group of the same kind of animals, plants, or one-celled organisms living or growing together.
7. A visible growth of microorganisms, usually in a solid or semisolid nutrient medium.

[Middle English colonie, from Latin colōnia, from colōnus, settler, from colere, to cultivate; see kwel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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