• synonyms


[kuh-los-uh s]
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noun, plural co·los·si [kuh-los-ahy] /kəˈlɒs aɪ/, co·los·sus·es.
  1. (initial capital letter) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes.Compare Seven Wonders of the World.
  2. any statue of gigantic size.
  3. anything colossal, gigantic, or very powerful.
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Origin of colossus

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kolossós statue, image, presumably < a pre-Hellenic Mediterranean language
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

giant, behemoth, titan, mammoth, Goliath, cyclops, leviathan, Hercules, Gargantua, Samson, Godzilla

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.


    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 plural -si (-saɪ) or -suses
  1. something very large, esp a statue
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper