[kuh-los-uh s]

noun, plural co·los·si [kuh-los-ahy] /kəˈlɒs aɪ/, co·los·sus·es.

(initial capital letter) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes.Compare Seven Wonders of the World.
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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colossi

Historical Examples of colossi

  • No time to study the features of the Colossi, or to search for the grave of Major Tidwell.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • We look, we search, and instead of the colossi, we find abortions.

  • The two colossi on the plain of Thebes are, of course, hard gritstone.

  • Two canary-coloured Colossi have just deposited tea on a small table.

    Red as a Rose is She

    Rhoda Broughton

  • We loitered too long around the colossi of Memnon and the palaces of the plain.

British Dictionary definitions for colossi


noun plural -si (-saɪ) or -suses

something very large, esp a statue

Word Origin for colossus

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

Word Origin and History for colossi



"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