Definition of colonial in US English:



  • 1Relating to or characteristic of a colony or colonies.

    ‘British colonial rule’
    ‘colonial expansion’
    • ‘The recurring imagery of ‘discovery’ echoes a colonial project of expansion and conquest.’
    • ‘Servitude and forced labor in agricultural contexts to some extent also carried into the early twentieth century in the era of French colonial rule.’
    • ‘As colonial rule established itself and regions hitherto inaccessible became safe enough for plant collectors to travel in, many new bulb species found their way back to the nurseryman and then the gardener.’
    • ‘I had come here more than a few decades ago to participate in the Goa Liberation Struggle, which saw the sun set on this last enclave of colonial rule in India.’
    • ‘A year previously, Gandhi had launched the Salt Satyagraha, which mobilised hundreds of thousands of Indians to defy colonial laws and ask for an end to colonial rule.’
    • ‘During the freedom struggle against colonial rule, the national leaders of the two countries developed close political links which stood the test of time for years after independence.’
    • ‘African countries are demanding an explicit apology from countries formerly involved in slavery and other past examples of white domination including colonial rule.’
    • ‘In 1994, the then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama apologized personally to all Asian peoples for Japan's colonial rule and wartime actions.’
    • ‘The discussion of syphilis at the outset of the twentieth century reflected the tensions and dilemmas regarding colonial rule, and particularly the concern that Africa was slipping beyond control.’
    • ‘But after thirty years and one of the bitterest wars of colonial expansion in Southeast Asia, the Dutch were eventually victorious.’
    • ‘At midnight the next day India won its freedom from colonial rule.’
    • ‘Back home in India, perhaps thanks to nearly 200 years of colonial rule, good looks are defined almost always by a single attribute, fairness.’
    • ‘The Commonwealth became the regional power, exercising colonial rule in Papua, then in New Guinea and in Nauru.’
    • ‘The chartered companies of northern Europe were eventually unable to keep up with the demands of colonial expansion, territorial rule, and provision of security.’
    • ‘Hunting celebrated the imperial virtues of courage and manliness and confirmed the power of colonial rule.’
    • ‘But its social and political assertions are much more radical, as it paints Kelly as a champion of the individual, fighting against the injustice and corruption of colonial rule.’
    • ‘During German colonial rule, Bagamoyo was the capital of Tanzania.’
    • ‘This is first time that the locals won a victory after several hundred years of colonial rule by white people.’
    • ‘All these territories than came under European colonial rule.’
    • ‘Ironically, in the light of his later support for French colonial rule, he was expelled three years later for continuing to advocate the cause of the native poor of Algeria.’
    regional, state, territorial, district, local
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    1. 1.1 Relating to the period of the British colonies in America before independence.
    2. 1.2 (especially of architecture or furniture) made during or in the style of this period.
      • ‘The tradition of unanimous juries dates back to 14th century English common law and became the American standard during the colonial period.’
      • ‘More useful are his comparisons to British forest policy in colonial North America, although those could have been developed earlier in the introduction.’
      • ‘This folk remedy was known in colonial America and seems to have come from the British Isles.’
      • ‘In colonial America, Puritan preachers often used a special sermon form to instruct, persuade, or convince their hearers to change their actions or thoughts.’
      • ‘Meal times, as well as the habit of tea-drinking, were adopted from the British colonial period.’
      • ‘Despite his intolerance for hybrid colonial furniture, Nutting was forced to capitalize on the market for institutional furniture.’
      • ‘You'll some fine old colonial and oriental furniture and jewellery.’
      • ‘Although cities display colonial architecture, villages feature these more traditional dwellings.’
      • ‘Not widely known today, Thomas Dawes was a significant figure in the history of the architecture of colonial and Federal America.’
      • ‘However, furniture understood to be colonial in the twentieth century was a hybrid lot.’
      • ‘Rebellions and armed unrest did not so much punctuate as define the history of colonial British America.’
      • ‘The ambience is relaxed: lots of colonial furniture, abstract art and worn leather sofas.’
      • ‘Spacious, modern, colonial style with terracotta tiles, marble floors, teak furniture and a four-poster bed with white netting, it was ideal: chic and simple.’
      • ‘Thus, throughout the colonial America period, under the English court system it was difficult to introduce account books into evidence to support a claim of debt.’
      • ‘People have certainly grown in size over the last 100 years or so, all you have to do is look at the size of furniture and doorways, etc. that are in colonial or historical homes.’
      • ‘First, there were the networks surrounding towns and villages in colonial America and the antebellum South.’
      • ‘There hardly seems a less likely candidate to reveal aspects of slave life than a British wine bottle made for America's colonial elite.’
      • ‘In colonial America many village communities had large areas of common land, partly for defensive purposes as well as for pasturage.’
      • ‘The furniture was late colonial style, red cherry that was still shining in its newness.’
      • ‘It was a time when large numbers of women and antiquarians were collecting ceramics, chiefly the refined wares used in America during the colonial and early Federal periods.’
      • ‘It was a typical 1920's colonial house, painted blue, summer porch, and cozy enough for a family of four.’
      • ‘He worked in both the shingle and colonial revival styles - the former for domestic structures and the latter mostly for public buildings like schools and libraries.’
      • ‘Pedimented late colonial case furniture, for example, could not support cases of silver of the period, so they were placed instead on earlier oak chests.’
      • ‘The venue is definitely ‘romantic’ with the gardens now trimmed, the spotlights on the trees and the well lit colonial style house with the open verandahs.’
      • ‘Furniture and decor are very basic and instead of upholstered sofas the furniture consists of traditional wooden chairs that have a colonial appearance.’
      • ‘As a sign of respect for the law and British custom, judges and lawyers during America's colonial period wore powdered wigs over their natural hair.’
      • ‘Imported from England, sodium bicarbonate was first used in America during colonial times, but it was not produced in the United States until 1839.’
      • ‘The religious pluralism that characterized much of colonial America became typical for Jews as well.’
      • ‘Built in 1849 in the Monterey colonial style, the adobe-block main building was one of the state's first stylish hostelries.’
      • ‘During the American colonial period, they received their modern name from English traders who noted that their towns always sat on the banks of picturesque creeks.’
      • ‘If you want a posh night out, with spectacular Vietnamese cuisine in a beautifully restored French colonial house and the staff in traditional Vietnamese costume, this is the place to come.’
      • ‘American courts in the colonial period imported many features of the English legal system, including the doctrine of precedent.’
      • ‘Their ancestors came to America in the colonial period and they have long-established family wealth.’
      • ‘When we first visited it, many years ago, we were delighted to find that they had assembled French colonial furniture and displayed it with great sensitivity.’
      • ‘In colonial America, the British battle against the French and their native Indian allies.’
  • 2(of animals or plants) living in colonies.

    • ‘Plus, diving by other raptors is similar to that of kites in most respects, except other species are not colonial or as numerous as kites, nor are they as likely to nest on or near golf courses.’
    • ‘This is consistent with certain biotic associations in modern colonial corals.’
    • ‘Raptors are territorial, but some species are colonial, a situation that may place males at a higher EPC risk.’
    • ‘Sessile colonial invertebrates have the ability to distinguish between their own tissues and those of unrelated members of the same species.’
    • ‘Neither feeding away from the intertidal zone nor a close association with colonial birds and mammals has been reported in either nigrofumosus or taczanowskii.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of a colony.

    • ‘When a group of French colonials living in Gabon on the Ivory Coast in 1915 learn that war has broken out in Europe, they decide to wage their own battle against the three German colonials living nearby.’
    • ‘Education expert J. Drost said the Dutch colonials started to introduce the formal schools here simply because they ‘needed people to work at the colonial service’.’
    • ‘I found most of the contacts enjoyable, except when one man said to me, ‘You don't dance badly - for a colonial!’’
    • ‘While the Kelly gang appears to have posed a genuine threat to the authority of the ruling colonials, the film prefers to focus on the adventures of the outlaws rather than an increasingly desperate establishment.’
    • ‘We studiously avoided that tone of spoiled and bored querulousness for which colonials were infamous.’
    • ‘Having been raised to see the mother country as the epitome of civilization, culture, and fair play, Clare like many other colonials flees to England seeking the refuge she has been promised.’
    • ‘Please stop publishing emails from these damned colonials.’
    • ‘Levy's father was among those on the Windrush, and that generation of black colonials, like her parents, endured white racism in their quest for a better existence than they had before on the former tropical island home.’
    • ‘Louisiana was significant in the early decades of the nineteenth century not only as the site of American slavery's expansion, however, but also as a port of entry for French-speaking colonials from the West Indies.’
    • ‘The borders were chosen by European colonials trying to parcel out territories; little consideration was given to the natural borders formed by the ethnic groups, which were then split by the new lines.’
    • ‘By their willing participation in this drama, Anzac troops were transformed from crude colonials to Homeric heroes.’
    • ‘It is an unworthy fear: not so long ago, white colonials who founded many of these clubs fretted in the same way about the social consequences of admitting Indians.’
    • ‘European colonials encouraged the Creeks to think of blacks as slaves in order to prevent runaways from seeking refuge within Creek towns.’
    • ‘These colonials were outnumbered roughly two to one by ex-slaves, most of whom were of Madagascan origin.’
    • ‘When he died, his final will provided for a series of scholarships to Oxford open to young colonials, Germans (because of the racial affinity), and Americans (in preparation for re-entry).’
    • ‘By the nineteenth century, Anglo-Americans, even in the slave states, no longer called themselves Creoles because they were no longer colonials.’
    • ‘Slaves weren't colonials, they were the property of colonials.’
    • ‘Cloud Atlas begins in the mid-19th Century on Chatham island near New Zealand where a peace-loving Moriori tribe faces extinction at the hands not only of exploitative colonials but also the rival Maori.’
    • ‘It is also certain that many in the Hell-Fire Club, being liberal-minded Whigs, were extremely sympathetic to the Americans' grievances, and some, including Dashwood, gave financial support to the colonials.’
    • ‘This picture is complicated by the presence in countries such as France of former colonials.’
    settler, colonizer, frontiersman, frontierswoman, pioneer
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  • 2A house built in colonial style.

    • ‘It is a two-story square colonial with a double hip roof.’
    • ‘Many of those homes in the Lakeview area were solid brick colonials, two-story homes.’
    • ‘But when they approached the stately brick colonial framed by an expansive front lawn and surrounded by forest, she was completely smitten.’
    • ‘She's got colonials with painted shutters and Victorians covered in snow.’
    • ‘Jake regarded the huge old style colonial with a wide sweeping front porch for a minute as the rest of the team was scrambling from the van.’
    • ‘Bella's home was a two-story, blue colonial with a well manicured lawn and two car garage.’