Meaning of “colonialism” in the English Dictionary

"colonialism" in English

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colonialismnoun [ U ]

uk /kəˈləʊ.ni.ə.lɪ.zəm/ us /kəˈloʊ.ni.ə.lɪ.zəm/

Examples from literature

  • Ever since World War II the era of colonialism has been on the wane. 
  • That was to me a subject of intense interest, now that I was fully aware of the situation after a hundred and fifty years of exploitation, seventy-five years of French domination, and thirty years of colonialism. 
  • The Democratic party has declared such a policy to be only imperialism and colonialism under another name. 
  • The pioneers had in a measure outgrown the colonialism of the thirteen original commonwealths. 

(Definition of “colonialism” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"colonialism" in American English

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colonialismnoun [ U ]


politics & government a policy or system in which a country controls another country or area.

(Definition of “colonialism” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"colonialism" in Business English

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colonialismnoun [ U ]

uk /kəˈləʊniəlɪzəm/ us POLITICS

control by one country over another and its economy, or support for such control:

It took the nation a century to remove the chains of colonialism and achieve independence.

(Definition of “colonialism” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)