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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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for colossi

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
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Word Origin and History for colossi

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
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Encyclopedia Article for colossi

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.
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