From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Colonialism \Co*lo"ni*al*ism\, n.
   1. The state or quality of, or the relationship involved in,
      being colonial.

            The last tie of colonialism which bound us to the
            mother country is broken.             --Brander
      [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

   2. A custom, idea, feature of government, or the like,
      characteristic of a colony.
      [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

   3. The colonial system of political government or extension
      of territory, by which one nation exerts political control
      over another nation, territory, or people, maintaining the
      colony in a state of dependence, its inhabitants not
      having the same full rights as those of the colonial
      power. The controlling power is typically extended thus by
      military force or the threat of force.
      [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

   4. the political or ideological system of beliefs advocating
      or justifying colonial control of one nation over another
      nation, territory, or people.
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