co·​los·​sus | \ kə-ˈlä-səs How to pronounce colossus (audio) \
plural colossi\ kə-​ˈlä-​ˌsī How to pronounce colossi (audio) \

Definition of colossus

1 : a statue of gigantic size and proportions
2 : a person or thing of immense size or power

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Did You Know?

The original colossi (notice the plural form) were the larger-than-life statues made by the Greeks and Romans. The most famous of these was the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the sun god Helios built on the Greek island of Rhodes around 280 B.C. that was over 100 feet tall and took more than 12 years to build. The Statue of Liberty is a modern colossus, enormous and stately, at the entrance to New York Harbor. And someone who has played a colossal role in history, such as Winston Churchill, may be called a colossus as well.

Examples of colossus in a Sentence

The building is a colossus of steel and glass. Leonardo da Vinci remains a colossus in the history of art.

Recent Examples on the Web

Last year, telecommunications colossus AT&T bought HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. studio in an $85-billion deal. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, "CBS-Viacom merger reunites the storied network with Comedy Central, MTV and Paramount Pictures," 13 Aug. 2019 Such companies—call them baby Amazons—are following the path charted by America’s e-commerce colossus. The Economist, "Baby Amazons take on their American role model," 1 Aug. 2019 China remains a manufacturing colossus with vast supply chains and a skilled labor force. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "A China-U.S. Trade Truce Could Enshrine a Global Economic Shift," 29 June 2019 Though still Asia’s financial capital, Hong Kong looks tinier and tinier when set against China’s ever-rising colossus. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "China can’t smash Hong Kong’s spirit," 12 June 2019 Game of Thrones actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who played the colossus Ser Gregor Clegane (a.k.a. Ashley Boucher,, "Game of Thrones' The Mountain Actor Lifts Ed Sheeran Over His Head: 'He Asked for It'," 13 Aug. 2019 Vietnam is already a colossus in producing shoes, clothes and other types of labor-intensive goods, having long ago begun siphoning business away from its giant northern neighbor. Raymond Zhong, New York Times, "Your Next iPhone Might Be Made in Vietnam. Thank the Trade War.," 30 July 2019 Position: Centre back FIFA 19 Rating: 88 Predicted FIFA 20 Rating: 90 The Dutch defender was a colossus at the back for Liverpool last season, tightening up a defence that had been fragile before his arrival., "FIFA 20: Every Liverpool Player's Predicted Ultimate Team Rating," 24 June 2019 The cross was Bald Knob Cross of Peace, a colossus more than a hundred feet tall. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Photo Requests from Solitary Confinement," 8 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'colossus.' 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 colossus

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colossus

Latin, from Greek kolossos

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Statistics for colossus

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for colossus

The first known use of colossus was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of colossus

: a huge statue
: a very large or important person or thing

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Comments on colossus

What made you want to look up colossus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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