Pronunciation: (kol'um), [key]
a. a rigid, relatively slender, upright support, composed of relatively few pieces.
b. a decorative pillar, most often composed of stone and typically having a cylindrical or polygonal shaft with a capital and usually a base.
2. any columnlike object, mass, or formation: a column of smoke.
3. a vertical row or list: Add this column of figures.
4. a vertical arrangement on a page of horizontal lines of type, usually typographically justified: There are three columns on this page.
5. a regular feature or series of articles in a newspaper, magazine, or the like, usually having a readily identifiable heading and the byline of the writer or editor, that reports or comments upon a particular field of interest, as politics, theater, or etiquette, or which may contain letters from readers, answers to readers' queries, etc.
6. a long, narrow formation of troops in which there are more members in line in the direction of movement than at right angles to the direction (distinguished from line).
7. a formation of ships in single file.
8. Bot.a columnlike structure in an orchid flower, composed of the united stamens and style.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.