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).
(lowercase) coliseum.

< Latin, noun use of neuter of colossēus gigantic < Greek kolossiaîos, equivalent to koloss(ós) colossus + -iaios adj. suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coliseum or colosseum (ˌkɒlɪˈsɪəm)
a large building, such as a stadium or theatre, used for entertainments, sports, etc
[C18: from Medieval Latin Colisseum, variant of Colosseum]
colosseum or colosseum
[C18: from Medieval Latin Colisseum, variant of Colosseum]

colosseum (ˌkɒləˈsɪəm)
a variant spelling of coliseum

Colosseum (ˌkɒləˈsɪəm)
an amphitheatre in Rome built about 75--80 ad

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Medieval L. name for the classical Amphitheatrum Flavium (begun c.70 C.E.), lit. neut. of adj. colosseus "gigantic;" perhaps a ref. to the colossal statue of Nero that long stood nearby (see colossus)
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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