Col"umn (?), n. [L. columna,
fr. columen, culmen, fr. cellere (used only
in comp.), akin to E. excel, and prob. to holm.
See Holm, and cf. Colonel.]
1. (Arch.) A kind of pillar; a
cylindrical or polygonal support for a roof, ceiling, statue,
etc., somewhat ornamented, and usually composed of base, shaft,
and capital. See Order.
2. Anything resembling, in form or
position, a column in architecture; an upright body or mass; a
shaft or obelisk; as, a column of air, of water, of
mercury, etc.; the Column Vendôme; the spinal
3. (Mil.) (a) A
body of troops formed in ranks, one behind the other; --
contradistinguished from line. Compare Ploy, and
Deploy. (b) A small
4. (Naut.) A number of ships so
arranged as to follow one another in single or double file or in
squadrons; -- in distinction from "line", where they are side by
5. (Print.) A perpendicular set of
lines, not extending across the page, and separated from other
matter by a rule or blank space; as, a column in a
6. (Arith.) A perpendicular line
7. (Bot.) The body formed by the
union of the stamens in the Mallow family, or of the stamens and
pistil in the orchids.
Attached column. See under
Attach, v. t. -- Clustered
column. See under Cluster, v.
t. -- Column rule, a thin
strip of brass separating columns of type in the form, and making
a line between them in printing.