Definition of colossal in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈläsəl/


1Extremely large: a colossal amount of mail a colossal mistake
More example sentences
  • She has put on a colossal amount of weight though, so I hope she's doing ok and it's not a bad sign.
  • For any of them to become a reality would require a massive amount of consultation, colossal investment and a great deal of faith.
  • It made £4500 in 1973, which was a colossal amount of money.
huge, massive, enormous, gigantic, giant, mammoth, vast, immense, monumental, prodigious, mountainous, titanic, towering, king-size(d), economy-size(d)
informal monster, whopping, humongous, jumbo, ginormous
1.1 Architecture (Of a giant order) having more than one story of columns.
Example sentences
  • The five-bay front facade has a three-bay, colossal, fluted, composite order portico which is repeated on the five-bay rear façade.
  • Michelangelo emphasizes the massiveness of the Senators’ palace by using the colossal order and balustrade above a tall base.
  • It is also the only building in the parish with colossal order columns.
1.2 Sculpture (Of a statue) at least twice life size.
Example sentences
  • Then, aged 26, he took on the seemingly impossible challenge of sculpting a colossal statue of the biblical hero, David, from one piece of flawed marble.
  • Along with a colossal statue of Athena, bases for busts inscribed with the names of Homer, Herodotus and other noted literary figures were found here.
  • Standing in the shadows of the colossal statues in front of the twin temples of Abu Simbel, one can only feel humble by human ingenuity, both past and present.



Example sentences
  • What is indisputable is that they were colossally influential, spawning generations of writers desperate to mimic them.
  • Small businesses seeking to expand find the odds stacked colossally against them.
  • There's something colossally wrong with this view.


Early 18th century: from French, from colosse, from Latin colossus (see colossus).

  • Kolossos was the Greek word for ‘a gigantic statue’, and was originally used to describe the statues of Egyptian temples. The most famous example was the huge bronze figure of Apollo that stood beside the harbour entrance at Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was completed in 280 bc, but destroyed by an earthquake in 224 bc. This statue was known as the Colossus of Rhodes, colossus (Late Middle English) being the Latin, and subsequently English, version of the word. The idea that the statue stood astride the entrance to the harbour is widely held, but wrong. Nevertheless, it has given us the phrase bestride like a colossus, which is from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: ‘Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world / Like a Colossus.’ The Colosseum has been the name since medieval times of the Amphitheatrum Flavium, a vast amphitheatre in Rome begun by the Emperor Vespasian around ad 75 and used for gladiatorial combats, fights between men and beasts, and mock battles.

Words that rhyme with colossal

apostle, dossal, fossil, glossal, jostle, throstle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: co·los·sal

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