One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The name since medieval times of the Amphitheatrum Flavium, a vast amphitheater in Rome, begun by Vespasian c.AD 75. It held 50,000 spectators, its sections connected by an elaborate network of stairs, and was the scene of various kinds of combat.
From Latin, neuter of colosseus ‘gigantic’, from colossus (see colossus).
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