December 17, 2018
colossal (adjective)
\kuh-LAH-sul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : of, relating to, or resembling a colossus; especially : of very great size2 : extraordinary, exceptional
How do you use it?
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., contains a colossal sculpture of the 16th president of the United States.
Are you a word wiz?

The word "colossal" is the adjective form of the noun "colossus," which means "huge statue." "Colossus" comes from an ancient language spoken by people who built a famous colossus. What language do you think they spoke?

The word "colossal" can be traced ultimately to the Greek "kolossos," meaning "huge statue." One of the Seven Wonders of the World is the Colossus of Rhodes. It represented the god Helios, was over 100 feet high, and stood near the harbor in the city of Rhodes. The Greeks also applied "kolossos" to very large sculptures they saw in Egypt. Although "colossal" has its roots in sculpture and can still refer to sculpture today, it can also describe anything of great size ("a colossal building" or "a colossal fortune") or anything that is extraordinary or exceptional ("a colossal failure" or "a colossal opportunity").
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