Meaning of COLON in English


Function: noun

Inflected Form: plural colons or cola

Etymology: Latin, part of a poem, from Greek k ō lon limb, part of a strophe

Date: circa 1550

1 plural cola : a rhythmical unit of an utterance specifically in Greek or Latin verse : a system or series of from two to not more than six feet having a principal accent and forming part of a line

2 plural colons a : a punctuation mark : used chiefly to direct attention to matter (as a list, explanation, quotation, or amplification) that follows b : the sign : used between the parts of a numerical expression of time in hours and minutes (as in 1:15) or in hours, minutes, and seconds (as in 8:25:30), in a bibliographical reference (as in Nation 130:20), in a ratio where it is usually read as “ to ” (as in 4:1 read “ four to one ” ), or in a proportion where it is usually read as “ is to ” or when doubled as “ as ” (as in 2:1::8:4 read “ two is to one as eight is to four ” )

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.