follow Dictionary.com

Do you know ghouls from goblins and ghosts?

colossus

[kuh-los-uh s] /kəˈlɒs əs/
noun, plural colossi
[kuh-los-ahy] /kəˈlɒs aɪ/ (Show IPA),
colossuses.
1.
(initial capital letter) the legendary bronze statue of Helios at Rhodes.
2.
any statue of gigantic size.
3.
anything colossal, gigantic, or very powerful.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kolossós statue, image, presumably < a pre-Hellenic Mediterranean language
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for colossus
  • The software colossus stands accused of using its market power unfairly.
  • In contrast to the pyramids, the colossus was the shortest lived of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
  • Today, it is the capital of an emerging economic colossus.
  • The company is unrepentant about being an old-fashioned corporate colossus.
  • But so much for his police record-it's his music that made him the colossus that he is.
  • Brown was still a colossus, but a colossus stands still, and the time required him to move a bit.
  • What's true of the eight-hundred-pound gorilla is true of the colossus that is the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The talk was all of a coming confrontation with the colossus to the north, and its local octopus clientele.
  • But he was a self-made and self-educated intellectual colossus whose interests far transcended politics.
  • Nobody cried when the colossus finally was declared a pile of rubbish.
British Dictionary definitions for colossus

colossus

/kəˈlɒsəs/
noun (pl) -si (-saɪ), -suses
1.
something very large, esp a statue
Word Origin
C14: from Latin, from Greek kolossos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for colossus
n.

"gigantic statue," late 14c., from Latin colossus "a statue larger than life," from Greek kolossos "gigantic statue," of unknown origin, used by Herodotus of giant Egyptian statues, and used by Romans of the bronze Apollo at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes. Figurative sense of "any thing of awesome greatness or vastness" is from 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
colossus in Technology

(A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
1. The Colossus and Colossus Mark II computers used by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, UK during the Second World War to crack the "Tunny" cipher produced by the Lorenz SZ 40 and SZ 42 machines. Colossus was a semi-fixed-program vacuum tube calculator (unlike its near-contemporary, the freely programmable Z3).
["Breaking the enemy's code", Glenn Zorpette, IEEE Spectrum, September 1987, pp. 47-51.]
2. The computer in the 1970 film, "Colossus: The Forbin Project". Forbin is the designer of a computer that will run all of America's nuclear defences. Shortly after being turned on, it detects the existence of Goliath, the Soviet counterpart, previously unknown to US Planners. Both computers insist that they be linked, whereupon the two become a new super computer and threaten the world with the immediate launch of nuclear weapons if they are detached. Colossus begins to give its plans for the management of the world under its guidance. Forbin and the other scientists form a technological resistance to Colossus which must operate underground.
The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064177).
(2007-01-04)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for colossus

statue that is considerably larger than life-size. They are known from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and Japan. The Egyptian sphinx (c. 2550 BC) that survives at al-Jizah, for example, is 240 feet (73 m) long; and the Daibutsu (Great Buddha; AD 1252) at Kamakura, Japan, is 37 feet (11.4 m) high.

Learn more about colossus with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for colossus

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for colossus

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with colossus

Nearby words for colossus