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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
col•o•nize /ˈkɑləˌnaɪz/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object], -nized, -niz•ing. 
  1. Governmentto establish a colony in; settle:They colonized the region.
col•o•niz•a•ble, adj. 
col•o•ni•za•tion /ˌkɑlənəˈzeɪʃən/USA pronunciation  n. [uncountable]
col•o•niz•er, n. [countable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
col•o•nize  (kolə nīz′),USA pronunciation v.,  -nized, -niz•ing. 
  1. Governmentto establish a colony in;
    settle:England colonized Australia.
  2. Governmentto form a colony of:to colonize laborers in a mining region.

  1. Governmentto form a colony:They went out to Australia to colonize.
  2. Governmentto settle in a colony.
Also,[esp. Brit.,] colo•nise′.  colo•niz′a•ble, adj. 
col′o•niz′a•bili•ty, n. 
col′o•ni•zation, n. 
col′o•ni•zation•ist, n. 
colo•niz′er, n. 
  • colon(y) + -ize 1615–25

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

colonize, colonise /ˈkɒləˌnaɪz/ vb
  1. to send colonists to or establish a colony in (an area)
  2. to settle in (an area) as colonists
  3. (transitive) to transform (a community) into a colony
  4. (of plants and animals) to become established in (a new environment)

ˌcoloniˈzation, ˌcoloniˈsation n ˈcoloˌnizer, ˈcoloˌniser n

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