Definition of colossus in US English:



  • 1A statue that is much bigger than life size.

    • ‘Few details are known of the original Colossus of Rhodes, which was built by a local sculptor between 304 and 292BC and whose face was reputedly modelled on that of Alexander the Great.’
    • ‘We sit astride the globe like a mighty colossus.’
    • ‘The Colossus of Rameses is an enormous statue carved in limestone.’
    • ‘The Colossus was built by Chares of Lindus in 280 BCE to celebrate the Rhodian victory over the Macedonians and to thank the god Helios for protecting them.’
    • ‘The party that once bestrode British politics like a colossus has arrived on the Lancashire coast in timid, uncertain mood.’
    • ‘Not that he was a formidable figure bestriding the political scene like a colossus.’
    1. 1.1 A person or thing of enormous size, importance, or ability.
      ‘the Russian Empire was the colossus of European politics’
      • ‘Though only a provincial leader, she is, in the words of a political commentator, ‘a colossus who dominates national politics’.’
      • ‘One might have thought such an unlikely colossus of Australian political history would have encouraged a few level-headed intellectuals and journalists to write a serious biography.’
      • ‘However, his death in 1994 made an art form of revisionism, as everyone from Clinton down rushed to praise this colossus of American politics.’
      • ‘The Red Army, which had beaten the Wehrmacht colossus from the Volga back to Warsaw with incomparable martyrdom, had to quickly relieve the pressure on the inexperienced troops on the allied Western front.’
      • ‘Living next to the colossus of America and all that it entails - from common cultural development to never having to defend ourselves from an external threat - has stunted our nationalism.’
      • ‘Brown's speech last week confirmed him as a political colossus.’
      • ‘He is a colossus of courage and integrity in an age of political pygmies.’
      • ‘But even if Betjeman had been less of a cultural colossus, Hillier's monumental approach to biography would be justified, because he paints not just an individual but a species.’
      • ‘And, more importantly, the sheer condescension of assuming that the room divides into the colossi of the politico-media ruling class and everyone else sums up everything that's wrong with the modern Democratic Party.’
      • ‘As a pianist he was a child prodigy who studied with Mozart, and was well-established in Vienna well before Beethoven arrived to sweep all before him, an emergent colossus bestriding the classical-romantic divide.’
      • ‘As I plotted the epic crash of this colossus, my heart began to pound in anticipation.’
      • ‘He was a colossus among lawyers and a giant among men.’
      • ‘This emerging colossus could find its economic and political influence rising in tandem with the decline of American influence.’
      • ‘He may not be a political colossus but he bestrides Scotland with an absolute and unchallenged power.’
      monster, brute, beast, giant, mountain, behemoth, leviathan, mammoth, monstrosity
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Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek kolossos (applied by Herodotus to the statues of Egyptian temples).