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 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 While overall corporate debt is colossal (exceeding 160% of GDP), most of it is denominated in China’s own currency and owned by domestic banks and investors, creating fewer fragilities than external debt. Eswar Prasad, Fortune, 6 Oct. 2021 The product — or the colossal failure to reach a deal — will define not only the first year of Biden's presidency, but the legacy of Pelosi and a generation of lawmakers in Congress, with ramifications for next year’s midterm elections. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 4 Oct. 2021 The colossal General Sherman Tree, some of the other sequoias in the Giant Forest, a museum and some other buildings also were wrapped amid the possibility of intense flames. Scott Sonner, ajc, 18 Sep. 2021 The California recall process: What a colossal waste of time and money! Chris Cillizza, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 Was nation-building a colossal waste of taxpayer money? Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 Unfortunately, what was also missing from Biden’s speech was an honest explanation of the colossal intelligence failure that left the White House reeling from the speed of the Taliban’s triumph. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Progress is about righting wrongs, some more colossal than others, and on this basis, it’s time - long overdue, in fact - to induct Felipe Alou into the Hall of Fame as a manager. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Sep. 2021 Critics have called on the board to remove the colossal sculpture from the mountain’s northern face. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 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

Time Traveler

The first known use of colossal was in 1664

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Colossal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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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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