co·​los·​sus | \kə-ˈlä-səs \
plural colossi\ kə-​ˈlä-​ˌsī \

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 week’s ruling allowed AT&T, a distributor, to purchase Time Warner, a news and entertainment colossus that owns HBO, CNN and the Warner Bros. film studio. Edmund Lee, New York Times, "With Two Suitors for Fox, the Murdochs Consider Next Steps," 18 June 2018 Assuming no appeal by the Department of Justice (DoJ), which brought the lawsuit against the merger, the deal will create a colossus able to sell HBO, CNN and other TV networks over its own wireless and satellite connections. The Economist, "AT&T and Time Warner are cleared to merge," 14 June 2018 In this blissfully stupid and thoroughly irresistible new movie, the artist sometimes known as the Rock goes up against another colossus called the Pearl. Justin Chang,, "Dwayne Johnson scales the heights in the thrillingly dumb 'Skyscraper'," 11 July 2018 Image Martin Sorrell reigned as one of the most influential leaders in the advertising industry for three decades as the chief executive of the marketing colossus WPP. Sapna Maheshwari, New York Times, "Martin Sorrell Is Gone From WPP, but That Doesn’t Mean He’s Gone Quiet," 8 July 2018 The athletic apparel colossus revealed Thursday that brand president Edwards, 55, will hang up his sneakers in August and Parker will extend his tenure beyond his 65th birthday. Andrew Nusca, Fortune, "Nike, Sanctions, Qualcomm and McMaster: CEO Daily for March 16, 2018," 16 Mar. 2018 Disney would also become a movie colossus; based on 2017 ticket sales, Disney-Fox would control about 35 percent of the domestic theatrical business. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "As Disney Moves Forward With Fox, Comcast Continues Plotting," 20 May 2018 The Goldbergs—created and written by radio colossus Gertrude Berg, who also starred in the show—depicted a Jewish family in the Bronx. Jeff Lipsky, HWD, "Milo Ventimiglia, Sara Gilbert, Constance Wu, and Other TV Moms and Dads Sound Off," 14 June 2018 Coworking colossus WeWork is now valued at $20 billion. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Can tech outsmart the housing shortage?," 29 May 2018

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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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

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something that serves to warn or remind

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