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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Ancient Egyptian columns in Philae (Egypt)
Corinthian columns in temple of Bel (Syria)
Columns in typography


From Middle English columne, columpne, columpe, borrowed from Old French columne, from Latin columna (a column, pillar, post), originally a collateral form of columen, contraction culmen (a pillar, top, crown, summit). Akin to Latin collis (a hill), celsus (high), probably to Ancient Greek κολοφών (kolophṓn, top, summit).



column (plural columns)

  1. (architecture) 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, in 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
  9. (chemistry) An object used to separate the different components of a liquid or to purify chemical compounds.



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


  • (upright structure): beam

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]