From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Column \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.
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   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 Vend[^o]me; the spinal column.
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   3. (Mil.)
      (a) A body of troops formed in ranks, one behind the
          other; -- contradistinguished from line. Compare
          Ploy, and Deploy.
      (b) A small army.
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   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 side.
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   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 newspaper.
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   6. (Arith.) A perpendicular line of figures.
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   7. (Bot.) The body formed by the union of the stamens in the
      Mallow family, or of the stamens and pistil in the
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   8. (Print.) one of a series of articles written in a
      periodical, usually under the same title and at regular
      intervals; it may be written and signed by one or more
      authors, or may appear pseudonymously or anonymously, as
      an editorial column. "Safire's weekly column On Language
      in the New York Times is usually more interesting (and
      probably more accurate) than his political column." --P.

   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
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