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 Americans prize colossal Thanksgiving turkeys — hulking burnished centerpiece beasts that make the dinner table groan. Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times, "With tiny turkeys in demand, sellers are getting creative. (One solution: turkey insurance)," 19 Nov. 2020 Medical-supply vendors bought massive quantities of these respirators, which were then loaded into shipping containers and hauled by colossal ships on a monthlong journey to the United States. Doug Bock Clark, New York Times, "Inside the Chaotic, Cutthroat Gray Market for N95 Masks," 17 Nov. 2020 Nothing from the colossal aftermath of the partition of India, which has left a legacy of memorable narratives. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, "Songs of Loss and Reinvention," 17 Nov. 2020 The 2020 season would have been colossal for Lange's development. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers can still win Nicholas Castellanos trade if these 2 pitchers become pieces," 19 Oct. 2020 Industrial-scale clearcut logging, subsidized by U.S. taxpayers at a colossal loss, ravaged parts of the Tongass for five decades following World War II. Amy Gulick, The New Republic, "The Majestic Alaskan Rain Forest in Trump’s Crosshairs," 5 Nov. 2020 This ends up being a colossal matchup of small-school teams. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Crunch time: Top 10 Arizona high school football story lines for Week 6," 3 Nov. 2020 That’s because such clusters occur in the vicinity of supermassive black holes, whose colossal influence could rein in speedy objects and potentially allow black holes to meet partners. Quanta Magazine, "Debate Erupts Over How ‘Forbidden’ Black Holes Grow," 3 Nov. 2020 How many lies were told and lives ruined as the price for seeding and growing the colossal farce? Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Vote No on 1984," 2 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of colossal was in 1664

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Statistics for colossal

Last Updated

24 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colossal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for colossal


How to pronounce colossal (audio)

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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