Definition of colleen in English:


See synonyms for colleen on


  • An Irish term for a girl or young woman.

    ‘It is ironic that what O'Casey was satirising in some of his later plays, the dancing colleens at the crossroads blessed by big bellied bishops, is what, in effect, is celebrated in that father of all cash cows Riverdance.’
    • ‘Sally McCullough and Marie Murphy nudged the Slaney in front, but two games later the Collins' colleens were back on level terms, Brenda Deegan and Jackie McMullan producing the winning arrows.’
    • ‘A tireless worker all her life, she is a brave colleen and she shows what a woman can do when she puts her mind to it.’
    • ‘Its most interesting aspect concerns the fate of the lovely colleen, called ‘Kitty.’’
    • ‘Just before the game a lovely colleen read the news headlines.’
    lady, adult female, female



/käˈlēn/ /kɑˈlin/ /ˈkälēn/ /ˈkɑlin/


Early 19th century from Irish cailin, diminutive of caile ‘countrywoman’.