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

Examples of colossal in a Sentence

a colossal statue of the town's founder
Recent Examples on the Web The chicken thigh is pounded thin, like a colossal piece of popcorn chicken that went splat on the kitchen counter. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2024 The significance of a safe home to those who are displaced is colossal. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Peoplemag, 11 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for colossal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'colossal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 18 May. 2024.

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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