a. A vertical structure usually consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital, used as a support or standing alone as a monument.
b. Any slender vertical support, as of steel or reinforced concrete.
2. Something resembling an architectural column in form or function: a column of mercury in a thermometer.
a. One of two or more vertical sections of text lying side by side in a document and separated by a rule or a blank space.
b. An arrangement of numbers in a single vertical line.
4. A feature article that appears regularly in a publication, such as a newspaper.
5. A formation, as of troops or vehicles, in which all elements follow one behind the other.
6. Botany A columnlike structure, especially one formed by the union of a stamen and the style in an orchid flower, or one formed by the united staminal filaments in flowers such as those of the hibiscus or mallow.
7. Anatomy Any of various tubular or pillarlike supporting structures in the body, each generally having a single tissue origin and function: the vertebral column.
[Middle English columpne, columne, ultimately (partially via Old French columpne), from Latin columna; see kel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
columned (kŏləmd) adj.
(click for a larger image)column
Ionic order column
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus