a. A vertical structure usually consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital, used as a support or standing alone as a monument.
b. Any slender vertical support, as of steel or reinforced concrete.
2. Something resembling an architectural column in form or function: a column of mercury in a thermometer.
a. One of two or more vertical sections of text lying side by side in a document and separated by a rule or a blank space.
b. An arrangement of numbers in a single vertical line.
4. A feature article that appears regularly in a publication, such as a newspaper.
5. A formation, as of troops or vehicles, in which all elements follow one behind the other.
6. Botany A columnlike structure, especially one formed by the union of a stamen and the style in an orchid flower, or one formed by the united staminal filaments in flowers such as those of the hibiscus or mallow.
7. Anatomy Any of various tubular or pillarlike supporting structures in the body, each generally having a single tissue origin and function: the vertebral column.
[Middle English columpne, columne, ultimately (partially via Old French columpne), from Latin columna; see kel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
columned (kŏləmd) adj.
(click for a larger image)column
Ionic order column
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.