Definition of collation in English:


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  • 1The action of collating something.

    ‘data management and collation’
    • ‘JG managed the study and was involved in data collection, collation and analysis, drafting the paper, and intellectual content.’
    • ‘As a consequence, the important benefits of collation and comparison of data from different sources are lost.’
    • ‘The collection, collation, and aggregation of these technology-specific elements develop into the technical requirements for a backup and recovery solution.’
    • ‘Tom Treasure is responsible to the society for the collection and collation of these data and has a mandate from the society's annual general meeting of its members to disseminate information based on the data.’
    • ‘Development of this proposal will require collation of speed and traffic flow data and consultation with residents in affected areas.’
    • ‘Ms Hall said no collation of school data would ever show how many students did not drop out of school, become pregnant or commit suicide because of the intervention and advice of a teacher in a crisis period.’
    • ‘Whilst Nuffield wanted a rigorously scientific, fact-based collation of the contemporary situation, Longford saw the report as a means of provoking social reform.’
    • ‘Elinor Gadon, the author of that excellent collation of art materials and texts called The Once and Future Goddess, was speaking at the launch of the project.’
    • ‘As with any anti-war collation, STW has attracted supporting groups from all walks of British life.’
    • ‘AE was responsible for collation of data and critical review of the paper.’
    • ‘The final section on investment is possibly the least coherent, although this is a relative criticism which reflects more on the impressive collation of papers in previous sections.’
    • ‘More precisely, Grote's methodology consisted of a close reading and collation of ancient texts in order to separate descriptions of historical facts from political opinions expressed about those facts.’
    • ‘Outside instrumental and certain orchestral works by this composer, I understand there is still a quantity of manuscripts awaiting collation, editing, printing and publication.’
    • ‘But this figure is not seen as accurate by the radio industry since it does not include revenue from smaller local independent stations which historically have been reluctant to send their figures in for central collation.’
    • ‘The Keter benefited from a larger staff of human proofreaders and the additional assistance of computer collation which was able to detect many errors that even the very conscientious human team had failed to ferret out.’
    • ‘Hence, data collation in the IAEA reviews focused only on those marine species that constitute food species for humans, normally using information gathered about their edible body parts.’
    • ‘His remarks also suggest that he innocently viewed intelligence analysis as largely a matter of collation; the facts would speak for themselves, if only they could only be gathered in one place.’
    • ‘Through a process of collation and distillation we incorporated the questions into 10 projects to create an evaluation framework.’
    • ‘Ideally, the humanitarian community should rapidly establish a common system for data collection so that all agencies can contribute to initial assessment and collation into a shared database.’
    • ‘As described above, the process from collation of the responses to publication of the report contained several checks designed to ensure confidentiality and anonymity.’
    contrast, juxtaposition, collation, differentiation
  • 2 formal A light informal meal.

    ‘lunch was a collation of salami, olives, and rye bread’
    • ‘a cold collation’
    • ‘They are eaten with pates or cold collations, their gently acidic snap making a most pleasant counterpoint to the fatty meat.’
    • ‘Lamb dishes are also the specialty of Sheep Tower, which opened last month and which touts its cold collation of heart, tendon, aspic and stomach of the sheep, or for even greater intimacy, there is the sheep kidney and testicle pot.’
    • ‘Many 19th-century lunches appear to have been collations of leftovers, often roast meat, served cold or hashed, supplemented with salad, poultry, or game, plus bread, cheese, and puddings, as the household could afford and required.’
    • ‘Dolly the Mega Cat looked up from her lunch bowl for a moment, mmrooowed in what may have been a note of sympathy, and went back to munching her way through a collation of tuna and herring.’
    • ‘The commissioners and the other gentlemen of both states who were passengers in the boat and with the gentlemen of the town partook of the collation at the house of the Governor.’
    • ‘Then to the Bosquet de l' Etoile for a collation.’
    • ‘To amuse themselves on their first day, the captives held a tilting match in the gardens, and following that they attended a ballet and a collation.’
    • ‘A funeral service takes place in church, followed by a procession to the graveyard for burial and a collation at the home of the deceased or of a close relative.’
    • ‘At the mid-day collation of sandwiches and sherry in the sitting room, Protheroe said ‘I take the racer to Maidstone.’’
    meal, lunch, dinner, supper, repast
    1. 2.1(in the Roman Catholic Church) a light meal allowed during a fast.
      ‘Reared during the time when one square meal and two collations was the order of the day for Lent, giving up something like sweets is a minor detail.’
      • ‘One whole meal and two collations each day, abstinence from flesh meat on Ash Wednesday, Spy Wednesday and Fridays.’



/kəˈlāSH(ə)n/ /kəˈleɪʃ(ə)n/


Middle English via Old French from Latin collatio(n-), from conferre (see confer). Originally (in the plural) the term denoted John Cassian's Collationes Patrum in Scetica Eremo Commorantium ‘Conferences of, or with, the Egyptian Hermits’ (AD 415–20), from which a reading would be given in Benedictine communities prior to a light meal (see collation (sense 2)).