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 So, blame the Palestinian leadership, sure, and the street, too — but Israelis should accept that Oslo was a colossal mistake, says Sharansky (with Gaza a further and related blunder). Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Still Sharansky," 21 Sep. 2020 Xinhua, the colossal undertaking will see around 7 million census workers spread out across the country, collecting names, ID numbers, gender, marital details, as well as education and professional information. James Griffiths, CNN, "China prepares to count 1.3 billion people as date for new population census announced," 20 Sep. 2020 Few of us are equipped or inclined to cook three meals a day for ourselves, and takeout and delivery have come to our rescue on a colossal scale. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "All my takeout has delivered a mountain of trash. So I asked experts how to minimize it.," 14 Sep. 2020 In addition to housing countless treasures in its elaborate tombs, the burial site boasts the Step Pyramid of Djoser, a colossal structure perhaps best known as the region’s first pyramid. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Trove of 2,500-Year-Old Sealed Coffins Unearthed in Egypt," 10 Sep. 2020 Without that outward pressure, the star’s outer layers collapse under gravity, triggering a colossal supernova and leaving behind a black hole. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Middleweight black holes finally found but they pose a puzzle," 2 Sep. 2020 The Dickinsons may not have large sets of anything in particular, but Peggy does have a colossal collection of books. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "More than 2,000 books and local art make this Prospect townhouse an eclectic dream," 21 Aug. 2020 Since many voters may opt to mail their ballots, the prospect of hundreds of thousands of these ballots that will need to be counted on election night, has county officials working now to prepare for the colossal undertaking. Peg Quann, USA TODAY, "Bucks County Board of Elections seeks poll workers," 13 Aug. 2020 At the time, Nepal, with Everest and its colossal neighbors, was off limits to foreigners. Washington Post, "Isolating in a Himalayan hotel forced this restless traveler to rethink his ‘allergy to boredom’," 13 Aug. 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

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Colossal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 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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