column


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Related to column: column chromatography, beam

a little from column A, a little from column B

Having been formed from two distinct factors, elements, or reasons. She asked me if I drew more from real life or from my imagination when writing; in truth, it's a little from column A and a little from column B.
See also: column, little

fifth column

A clandestine group of people who work subversively within a group, organization, or country in order to betray it to an allied outside force. In the US during the Cold War, there was constant fear and suspicion of people supposedly working in a fifth column to spread the influence of communism from within.
See also: column, fifth

fifth column

A secret subversive group that works against a country or organization from the inside, as in The government feared that there was a fifth column working to oppose its policies during the crisis . This term was invented by General Emilio Mola during the Spanish Civil War in a radio broadcast on October 16, 1936, in which he said that he had una quinta columna ("a fifth column") of sympathizers for General Franco among the Republicans holding the city of Madrid, and it would join his four columns of troops when they attacked. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway and later extended to any traitorous insiders.
See also: column, fifth
References in classic literature ?
The forms and ceremonials connected with the meeting of the two jeddaks consumed an hour, and then we turned and retraced our way toward the city of Kaol, which the head of the column reached just before dark, though it must have been nearly morning before the rear guard passed through the gateway.
Fortunately, I was well up toward the head of the column, and after the great banquet, which I attended with the officers of the royal guard, I was free to seek repose.
They rose up and confronted the midnight intruder on every side-- they stared at him with stony eyes from unlooked-for nooks and recesses; they peered at him over fragmentary heaps far down the desolate corridors; they barred his way in the midst of the broad forum, and solemnly pointed with handless arms the way from the sacred fane; and through the roofless temple the moon looked down, and banded the floor and darkened the scattered fragments and broken statues with the slanting shadows of the columns.
Overhead the stately columns, majestic still in their ruin--under foot the dreaming city--in the distance the silver sea --not on the broad earth is there an other picture half so beautiful!
Their column was now badly broken, the Susquehanna had gone, the Theodore Roosevelt had fallen astern out of the line, with her forward guns disabled, in a heap of wreckage, and the Monitor was in some grave trouble.
And so they joined the column which moved slowly down toward the valley and as they passed the cottage of Father Claude, Norman of Torn saw that the door was closed and that there was no sign of life about the place.
Here also were the valiant Earl of Angus, Sir Thomas Banaster with his garter over his greave, Sir Nele Loring, second cousin to Sir Nigel, and a long column of Welsh footmen who marched under the red banner of Merlin.
But there we were, at the head of the column instead of in its middle, and we were being swept out of life by a torrent of shrieking lead.
Asinus was posted in the centre, in consideration of his nerves, and then the old man, with his three male companions, divided themselves in such a manner as they thought would enable them to turn the head of the rushing column, should it chance to approach too nigh their position.
Here is page 534, column two, a substantial block of print dealing, I perceive, with the trade and resources of British India.
Dalton was gross, very gross, and I had no choice but to offer him my columns to reply.
Captain Baker thought at first that he was in the presence of an unknown sandbank; he even prepared to determine its exact position when two columns of water, projected by the mysterious object, shot with a hissing noise a hundred and fifty feet up into the air.
Here they found all the plains and valleys wrapped in one vast conflagration; which swept over the long grass in billows of flame, shot up every bush and tree, rose in great columns from the groves, and set up clouds of smoke that darkened the atmosphere.
Pierre well knew this large room divided by columns and an arch, its walls hung round with Persian carpets.
The advice of the fourth was that the columns of the capitol be rubbed with oil of dog by a person having a moustache on the calf of his leg.