Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts about its publication.
  • n. A publisher's emblem or trademark placed usually on the title page of a book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In manuscripts (typically before the invention of printing), the note, usually at the end, left by the scribe who copied it, giving information on his exemplar, where and when the copy was made, and sometimes, his own name.
  • n. A printer's or publisher's identifying inscription or logo appearing at the end of a book, or the same appearing on the spine or dust-jacket.
  • n. A page on a website identifying the details of its creation, such as the author's name and the technologies used.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inscription, monogram, or cipher, containing the place and date of publication, printer's name, etc., formerly placed on the last page of a book.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An emblematic device, or a note, especially one relating to the circumstances of production, as the printer's or scribe's names place, and date, put at the conclusion of a book or manuscript.
  • n. The end of a book; the word “finis,” or “the end,” marking the conclusion of any printed work.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology: A genus of coleopterous insects.
  • n. A genus of arachnidans.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a publisher's emblem printed in a book (usually on the title page)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Late Latin colophōn, from Greek kolophōn, summit, finishing touch; see kel-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Ancient Greek κολοφών (kolophon, "peak or finishing touch")

Examples

  • The colophon is numbered (50 copies) and signed by Robert Reid.

    2009 April 29 | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • As, however, the colophon is unmistakably clear as to date, and as that date is but two years subsequent to the events narrated in the poem, we may at least assume that the papyrus is a contemporary document.

    Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers

  • Bantam Books is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House,

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice

  • Bantam Books is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Firestorm

  • Dell is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

    Warning Signs

  • N.Y. Dell is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2001028313 ISBN: 0-440-23657-6

    No Man's Mistress

  • Gramercy is a registered trademark and the colophon is a trademark of

    Treasure Island

  • DEVICE The printer’s or publisher’s imprint, sometimes referred to as a colophon, usually found on the copyright page when present (uncommon now).

    Book Terminology: A to Z

  • In literature, as in law and war, the favourite method of offensive defence is to reserve your _triarii_, your "colophon" of arms or arguement, to the last; but there are cases in all three where it is best to carry an important point at once and hold it.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 To the Close of the 19th Century

  • All rights reserved Copyright " 2007 by Lee Child Delacorte Press is a registered trademark of Random House, Inc., and the colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

    Bad Luck and Trouble

Comments

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  • Also, apparently, an ancient Greek city of Asia Minor. See Colophon.

    February 6, 2011

  • A word of beauty to a typography nerd.

    April 10, 2008