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col·o·nize / ˈkäləˌnīz/ • v. [tr.] (of a country or its citizens) send a group of settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it: the Greeks colonized Sicily and southern Italy. ∎  come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area). ∎  appropriate (a place or domain) for one's own use. ∎  Ecol. (of a plant or animal) establish itself in an area: mussels can colonize even the most inhospitable rock surfaces | [intr.] insect borers colonize in rotted shoreline deadfalls.DERIVATIVES: col·o·ni·za·tion / ˌkälənəˈzāshən/ n.col·o·niz·er n.