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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
< Latin, noun use of neuter of colossēus gigantic < Greek kolossiaîos, equivalent to koloss(ós) colossus + -iaios adj. suffix

coliseum

[kol-i-see-uh m] /ˌkɒl ɪˈsi əm/
noun
1.
Also, colosseum. an amphitheater, stadium, large theater, or other special building for public meetings, sporting events, exhibitions, etc.
2.
(initial capital letter) Colosseum.
Origin
1700-10; < Medieval Latin Colisseum; see Colosseum
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for colosseums

coliseum

/ˌkɒlɪˈsɪəm/
noun
1.
a large building, such as a stadium or theatre, used for entertainments, sports, etc
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin Colisseum, variant of 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 colosseums

coliseum

n.

"music hall," c.1710, Modern Latin variant of Latin colosseum, amphitheater of Vespasian at Rome (see Colosseum).

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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colosseums 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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