co·​los·​sal kə-ˈlä-səl How to pronounce colossal (audio)
: of, relating to, or resembling a colossus
colossal statues
: of a bulk, extent, power, or effect approaching or suggesting the stupendous or incredible
colossal rock formations
colossal stellar explosions
: of an exceptional or astonishing degree
a colossal failure
a colossal bore
colossal ambition
colossally 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

Example Sentences

a colossal statue of the town's founder
Recent Examples on the Web Samsung’s Exynos 2200 turned out to be a colossal failure that forced Samsung to change its chip strategy. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 Nov. 2022 The dumbest journalism, though, reasons (without saying so) that Mr. Durham is a colossal failure because he was somehow assigned, or assigned himself, to fulfill the fantasies of Donald Trump. WSJ, 25 Oct. 2022 Giannis had some colossal performances At this point, Antetokounmpo isn’t stranger to Herculean offensive efforts – but there are levels that remain rare for him. Jim Owczarski, Journal Sentinel, 31 Dec. 2022 In a time when conspiracy theories about what powerful people do behind closed doors run rampant, here is an account of colossal American dysfunction hiding in plain sight. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, 30 Dec. 2022 Fusion involves pushing together two nuclei of a lightweight element, such as hydrogen, at a colossal speed, forcing them to fuse. Harold Maass, The Week, 22 Dec. 2022 In the ultimate comeback story, UCLA flipped the commitment of the Detroit King High standout Monday in the most colossal recruiting win of the Chip Kelly era. Los Angeles Times, 20 Dec. 2022 Take the Sibelius Fifth—a marvel of continuous transformation in which colossal themes gestate from atmospheric textures. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2022 To step it up a notch, Hannah suggests making one or two colossal ice cubes to keep it chilled. Hudson Lindenberger, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


see colossus

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colossal was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near colossal

Cite this Entry

“Colossal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​los·​sal kə-ˈläs-əl How to pronounce colossal (audio)
: of, relating to, or resembling a colossus
especially : of very great size
a colossal office building
: extraordinary, exceptional
colossal growth
a colossal failure
colossally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on colossal

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