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

Other Words from colossal

colossally \ kə-​ˈlä-​sə-​lē How to pronounce colossal (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 Specific to the cultural and creative sectors, the impact has been colossal. Brendan Ciecko, Rolling Stone, 1 Dec. 2021 The story of Led Zeppelin is not just one of a legendary rock band, but one of a colossal waste of talent, squandered through a mix of drugs, unchecked rock star privilege and general carelessness. John Warner,, 2 Nov. 2021 The year featured multiple seismic shifts within the franchise — including coaching, front-office and executive changes — but Lillard’s state of mind was a colossal story that never went away. oregonlive, 31 Dec. 2021 Nile Niami Is Set to Put His Mansion on the Market for $340 Million After more than eight years in planning and construction, the Los Angeles area’s most colossal home is finally ready for its official public debut. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 31 Dec. 2021 While the South deals with a severe weather threat, the western U.S. is dealing with colossal amounts of snow. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 30 Dec. 2021 Why has this approach been such a colossal failure? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 26 Dec. 2021 But the technological command and the cleverness on display in the colossal fight scenes also undercut their dramatic significance, as do the over-the-top theatrics that tip into the facetious. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Dec. 2021 But Covax has been a colossal failure, getting fewer than a billion shots out to low-income countries—less than 50 percent of its goal. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 24 Dec. 2021

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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Time Traveler for colossal

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The first known use of colossal was in 1664

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Colossal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on colossal

Nglish: Translation of colossal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colossal for Arabic Speakers


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