co·​los·​sal | \ kə-ˈlä-səl How to pronounce colossal (audio) \

Definition of colossal

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a colossus colossal statues
2 : of a bulk, extent, power, or effect approaching or suggesting the stupendous or incredible colossal rock formations colossal stellar explosions
3 : of an exceptional or astonishing degree a colossal failure a colossal bore colossal ambition

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Other Words from colossal

colossally \ kə-​ˈlä-​sə-​lē How to pronounce colossally (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for colossal

enormous, immense, huge, vast, gigantic, colossal, mammoth mean exceedingly large. enormous and immense both suggest an exceeding of all ordinary bounds in size or amount or degree, but enormous often adds an implication of abnormality or monstrousness. an enormous expense an immense shopping mall huge commonly suggests an immensity of bulk or amount. incurred a huge debt vast usually suggests immensity of extent. the vast Russian steppes gigantic stresses the contrast with the size of others of the same kind. a gigantic sports stadium colossal applies especially to a human creation of stupendous or incredible dimensions. a colossal statue of Lincoln mammoth suggests both hugeness and ponderousness of bulk. a mammoth boulder

Examples of colossal in a Sentence

a colossal statue of the town's founder

Recent Examples on the Web

New Yorkers were left with more questions than answers on Friday when a colossal amount of raw chicken was found lying on the streets in Brooklyn. Robyn Merrett,, "Raw Chicken Inexplicably Found Lying on the Streets in Brooklyn: 'It's Pretty Gross'," 31 Aug. 2019 In 2018, Chinese tourists made nearly 150 million trips around the world, spending a colossal $277 billion. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Chinese tourists are opting out of travel to the US in favor of the rest of the world," 29 Aug. 2019 Prominent among them was the colossal snow peak of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 The show has grown dramatically over the years, and versions have included hundreds of laser beams, digital screens larger than a jumbo jet, and colossal holographic effects. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "Eric Prydz’s 5-ton Holosphere shows the ambitious future of concert tech," 20 Aug. 2019 The key technical challenge, Anscheidt says, was creating a design that would evoke the EB110 but still get enough air into and out of the colossal engine and offer the aerodynamics needed to push a car far north of 200 mph. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Want to Burn $9 Million to Go 236 MPH? Try the New Bugatti," 19 Aug. 2019 Published earlier this year in Science, that colossal effort pinpointed 1.81 million earthquakes that shook Southern California between 2008 and 2017, all the way down to magnitude 0.3. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Groundbreaking earthquake catalog may have just solved a seismic mystery," 13 Aug. 2019 But George Lucas, by most accounts, made a colossal mess out of The Phantom Menace, causing fans to question whether returning to Star Wars was a good idea. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "An Interview With My Wife, Who's Never Seen Star Wars, After I Made Her Watch 'The Phantom Menace'," 17 May 2019 Its scope is colossal: the 197 million square miles of land on Earth. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Report: we have to change how we use land and produce food to fight climate change," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colossal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of colossal

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colossal

see colossus

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Statistics for colossal

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colossal

The first known use of colossal was in 1664

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More Definitions for colossal



English Language Learners Definition of colossal

: very large or great


co·​los·​sal | \ kə-ˈlä-səl How to pronounce colossal (audio) \

Kids Definition of colossal

: very large : huge a colossal success She gave the ball a colossal heave.

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More from Merriam-Webster on colossal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with colossal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for colossal

Spanish Central: Translation of colossal

Nglish: Translation of colossal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colossal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on colossal

What made you want to look up colossal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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