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[kuh-los-uh s] /kəˈlɒs əs/
noun, plural colossi
[kuh-los-ahy] /kəˈlɒs aɪ/ (Show IPA),
(initial capital letter) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes.
any statue of gigantic size.
anything colossal, gigantic, or very powerful.
Origin of colossus
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kolossós statue, image, presumably < a pre-Hellenic Mediterranean language Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for colossus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Flattering remarks were showered on this colossus from all sides.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • Wilson stared soberly at this school, at the colossus he had helped to create.

  • But when this became manifest the colossus must fall to the ground.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • If to have enemies is a measure of greatness, then you must be a colossus, indeed, Prince.

    Vera Oscar Wilde
  • Not long since this bit of lifeless clay had straddled his world like a colossus.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for colossus


noun (pl) -si (-saɪ), -suses
something very large, esp a statue
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from Greek kolossos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for colossus

"gigantic statue," late 14c., from Latin colossus "a statue larger than life," from Greek kolossos "gigantic statue," of unknown origin, used by Herodotus of giant Egyptian statues, and used by Romans of the bronze Apollo at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes. Figurative sense of "any thing of awesome greatness or vastness" is from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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