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"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.
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.