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Colosseum

[kol-uh-see-uh m] /ˌkɒl əˈsi əm/
noun
1.
an ancient amphitheater in Rome, begun a.d. c70 by Vespasian, having the form of an oval 617 by 512 feet (188 by 156 meters).
2.
(lowercase) coliseum.
Origin of Colosseum
< Latin, noun use of neuter of colossēus gigantic < Greek kolossiaîos, equivalent to koloss(ós) colossus + -iaios adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Colosseum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She heard the famous Father Gavazzi preach the crusade in the Colosseum.

  • The largest of these amphitheaters was the Colosseum, the ruins of which still exist.

    Introductory American History Henry Eldridge Bourne
  • In vain; the address was gone—gone with the leaves she had torn out and thrown away in the Colosseum.

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
  • A circus or theatre of our day is a toy compared to the Colosseum.

    From Pole to Pole Sven Anders Hedin
  • Following the guidebook's advice we had seen the Colosseum in Rome by moonlight.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
  • The Colosseum will not suffer its likeness to be taken by every one; it is a favour that must be fought for.

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
  • Marynia could scarcely sit still at the thought that she would see the Capitol, the Forum, and the Colosseum by moonlight.

    Children of the Soil Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • "You succeeded with the Colosseum," was Blanka's encouraging rejoinder.

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
  • The night is so beautiful that we, too, came to the Colosseum.

    Children of the Soil Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for Colosseum

colosseum

/ˌkɒləˈsɪəm/
noun
1.
a variant spelling of coliseum

Colosseum

/ˌkɒləˈsɪəm/
noun
1.
an amphitheatre in Rome built about 75–80 ad
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
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Word Origin and History for Colosseum
n.

1560s, Medieval Latin name for the classical Amphitheatrum Flavium (begun c.70 C.E.), noun use of neuter of adjective colosseus "gigantic;" perhaps a reference to the colossal statue of Nero that long stood nearby (see colossus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Colosseum in Culture

Colosseum definition


A great arena of ancient Rome, which seated fifty thousand. It is in ruins today, but its former glory can still be imagined.

Note: Some of the contests staged in the Colosseum were between gladiators, who fought with swords; some were between people and animals. The arena could even be flooded for mock sea battles.
Note: According to tradition, persecuted Christians were fed to lions in the Colosseum for the entertainment of the Romans. (See also bread and circuses.)
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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