column

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English[edit]

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Columns in temple of Bel, Syria
Columns in typography

Etymology[edit]

From Old French columne, from Latin columna (a column, pillar, post), originally a collateral form of columen, contraction culmen (a pillar, top, crown, summit), o-grade form from a Proto-Indo-European *kʷel- (going around). Akin to Latin collis (a hill), celsus (high), probably to Ancient Greek κολοφών (kolophōn, top, summit).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

column (plural columns)

  1. A solid upright structure designed usually to support a larger structure above it, such as a roof or horizontal beam, but sometimes for decoration.
  2. A vertical line of entries in a table, usually read from top to bottom.
  3. A body of troops or army vehicles, usually strung out along a road.
  4. A body of text meant to be read line by line, especially in printed material that has multiple adjacent such on a single page.
    It was too hard to read the text across the whole page, so I split it into two columns.
  5. A unit of width, especially of advertisements, in a periodical, equivalent to the width of a usual column of text.
    Each column inch costs $300 a week; this ad is four columns by three inches, so will run $3600 a week.
  6. (by extension) A recurring feature in a periodical, especially an opinion piece, especially by a single author or small rotating group of authors, or on a single theme.
    His initial foray into print media was as the author of a weekly column in his elementary-school newspaper.
  7. Something having similar vertical form or structure to the things mentioned above, such as a spinal column.
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, The Lonely Pyramid:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. Whirling wreaths and columns of burning wind, rushed around and over them.
  8. (botany) The gynostemium

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (line of table entries): row (which is horizontal)

Hypernyms[edit]

  • (upright structure): beam

Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]