Definitions

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

  • n. A punctuation mark ( : ) used after a word introducing a quotation, an explanation, an example, or a series and often after the salutation of a business letter.
  • n. The sign ( : ) used between numbers or groups of numbers in expressions of time (2:30 A.M.) and ratios (1:2).
  • n. A section of a metrical period in quantitative verse, consisting of two to six feet and in Latin verse having one principal accent.
  • n. The section of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum.
  • n. See Table at currency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The punctuation mark ":".
  • n. The triangular colon (especially in context of not being able to type the actual triangular colon).
  • n. A rhetorical figure consisting of a clause which is grammatically, but not logically, complete.
  • n. Part of the large intestine; the final segment of the digestive system, after (distal to) the ileum and before (proximal to) the anus

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That part of the large intestines which extends from the cæcum to the rectum. [See Illust. of digestion.]
  • n. A point or character, formed thus [:], used to separate parts of a sentence that are complete in themselves and nearly independent, often taking the place of a conjunction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient Grammar and rhetoric, one of the larger or principal divisions of a sentence or period; a long clause, or a group of minor clauses or commata. See comma, 1.
  • n. In ancient prosody, one of the members or sections of a rhythmical period, forming an uninterrupted sequence of feet, united under a principal ictus or beat: sometimes called a series.
  • n. In paleography, a long clause or group of clauses, or a series of words of about the average length of such a group, estimated as approximately equal to a dactylic hexameter in extent—that is, as containing from 12 to 17 syllables.
  • n. A mark of punctuation formed by two dots like periods placed one above the other (:), used to mark a discontinuity of grammatical construction greater than that indicated by the semicolon and less than that indicated by the period.
  • n. In anatomy, a portion of the intestinal tract, the so-called “large” as distinguished from the “small” intestine, continuous from the ileum to the rectum; the great gut, beginning at the cæcum and ending in the sigmoid flexure.
  • n. In entomology, the second portion of an insect's intestine, generally broader than the preceding portion or ileum.
  • n. The silver peso or dollar of Costa Rica, of the value of 46½ cents or 100 centavos.

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

  • n. the part of the large intestine between the cecum and the rectum; it extracts moisture from food residues before they are excreted
  • n. a punctuation mark (:) used after a word introducing a series or an example or an explanation (or after the salutation of a business letter)
  • n. the basic unit of money in El Salvador; equal to 100 centavos
  • n. a port city at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal
  • n. the basic unit of money in Costa Rica; equal to 100 centimos

Etymologies

Latin cōlon, part of a verse, from Greek kōlon, limb, member, metrical unit.
Middle English, from Latin, from Greek kolon, large intestine.
Spanish colón, after Cristóbal Colón, Christopher Columbus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cōlon ("a member of a verse of poem"), from Ancient Greek κῶλον (kōlon, "a member, limb, clause, part of a verse"). (Wiktionary)
From Latin cōlon ("large intestine"), from Ancient Greek κόλον (kolon, "the large intestine, also food, meat, fodder"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • In the abbreviated shorthand of the railway telegrapher, colon meant "Cost, insurance and commission". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 21, 2013

  • Wondering why in pterodactyl's list? See here.

    April 9, 2008