A colonist is a member of a government-backed group that settles in a new country or region. The land that's claimed by a colonist is usually already occupied by another group of people.

A colonist can also be called a settler, someone who helps start a settlement in a new land. You might think of colonial America and the original colonists, British subjects who settled along the eastern seaboard and claimed the land as their own, despite the presence of native people. Throughout history, colonists have tended to come from Western countries. At the heart of the word colonist is the Latin root colere, "to inhabit, tend, or guard."

Definitions of colonist
  1. noun
    a person who settles in a new colony or moves into new country
    synonyms: settler
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    John Endecott
    born in England; in 1629 he became the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1588-1665)
    Anne Hutchinson
    American colonist (born in England) who was banished from Boston for her religious views (1591-1643)
    Peter Minnewit
    Dutch colonist who bought Manhattan from the Native Americans for the equivalent of $24 (1580-1638)
    Miles Standish
    English colonist in America; leader of the Pilgrims in the early days of the Plymouth Colony (1584-1656)
    Roger Williams
    English clergyman and colonist who was expelled from Massachusetts for criticizing Puritanism; he founded Providence in 1636 and obtained a royal charter for Rhode Island in 1663 (1603-1683)
    Edward Winslow
    English colonial administrator who traveled to America on the Mayflower and served as the first governor of the Plymouth Colony (1595-1655)
    Daniel Boone
    an American pioneer and guide and explorer (1734-1820)
    James Bowie
    United States pioneer and hero of the Texas revolt against Mexico; he shared command of the garrison that resisted the Mexican attack on the Alamo where he died (1796-1836)
    Martha Jane Burke
    United States frontierswoman and legendary figure of the Wild West noted for her marksmanship (1852-1903)
    Christopher Carson
    United States frontiersman who guided Fremont's expeditions in the 1840s and served as a Union general in the American Civil War (1809-1868)
    Johnny Appleseed
    United States pioneer who planted apple trees as he traveled (1774-1845)
    David Crockett
    United States frontiersman and Tennessee politician who died at the siege of the Alamo (1786-1836)
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    Pilgrim, Pilgrim Father
    one of the colonists from England who sailed to America on the Mayflower and founded the colony of Plymouth in New England in 1620
    one the first colonists or settlers in a new territory
    a settler or prospector (especially in western United States or northwest Canada and Alaska)
    homesteader, nester, squatter
    someone who settles lawfully on government land with the intent to acquire title to it
    a dweller in the Australian bush country
    backwoodsman, frontiersman, mountain man
    a man who lives on the frontier
    a woman who lives on the frontier
    type of:
    migrant, migrator
    traveler who moves from one region or country to another
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