Main definitions of colon in English

: colon1colon2

colon1

noun

  • 1A punctuation mark (:) used to precede a list of items, a quotation, or an expansion or explanation.

    • ‘Programming languages often consist of a seemingly random usage of parenthesis, brackets, asterisks, slashes, colons and semi-colons.’
    • ‘Add a bracket to a colon and you get the text-message version of a smiley badge.’
    • ‘I have been finding too many contradictory sources on the use of colons versus semicolons, and now can remember neither quite right.’
    • ‘In less formal writing, the dash is often a catch-all mark to take the place of both colon and semicolon, obviating the need to distinguish them or think about more subtle kinds of punctuation.’
    • ‘But it's hard enough for some people to acquire an instinctive sense of the different uses of commas, let alone the employment of colons and semi-colons.’
    1. 1.1A colon used in various technical and formulaic contexts, for example a statement of proportion between two numbers, or to separate hours from minutes (and minutes from seconds) in a numerical statement of time.
      ‘10:1’
      ‘4:30 p.m’
      • ‘Time is in army format without the colon between hours and minutes.’
    2. 1.2The number of the chapter and verse respectively in biblical references.
      ‘Exodus 3:2’

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a term in rhetoric denoting a section of a complex sentence, or a pause before it): via Latin from Greek kōlon limb, clause.

Pronunciation:

colon

/ˈkōlən/

Main definitions of colon in English

: colon1colon2

colon2

noun

Anatomy
  • The main part of the large intestine, which passes from the cecum to the rectum and absorbs water and electrolytes from food that has remained undigested. Its parts are called the ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colon.

    • ‘He sustained a punctured colon, a collapsed lung, and a lacerated liver and kidney.’
    • ‘Its goal is the purification and rejuvenation of the colon, because the colon is linked to all the other organs and tissues of the body.’
    • ‘This antioxidant effect may also reduce the risk of some cancers, particularly of the breast and colon.’
    • ‘It colonises the newborn's colon within hours of birth, and serves important intestinal physiological functions for the rest of the host's life.’
    • ‘A second surgery the following day revealed a hole the size of pencil eraser in the colon where the two sections had been sutured together.’
    gut, guts, entrails, viscera
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek kolon.

Pronunciation:

colon

/ˈkōlən/

Main definitions of colon in English

: colon1colon2

Colón

proper noun

  • The chief port of Panama, at the Caribbean Sea end of the Panama Canal; population 87,800 (est. 2009)

Pronunciation:

Colón

/ˈkōlən/

Main definitions of colon in English

: colon1colon2

colón

noun

  • The basic monetary unit of Costa Rica and El Salvador, equal to 100 centimos in Costa Rica and 100 centavos in El Salvador.

    • ‘The U.S. dollar is strong there, worth about 400 colones, the Costa Rican currency.’
    • ‘This sounds like pricey poker, but 30,000 colones is only about $9 US, so I wondered, with fields of about 100 players a night, how the casino was guaranteeing a prize pool of at least $10,000 US.’
    • ‘‘People are not interested in dollars or colones; they just want money,’ Barraza declared during the February forum.’

Origin

From Cristóbal Colón, the Spanish name of Christopher Columbus (see Columbus, Christopher).

Pronunciation:

colón

/ˈkōlən/