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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 of colossus
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek kolossós statue, image, presumably < a pre-Hellenic Mediterranean language
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for colossus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The accounts of the height of the colossus of Rhodes differ slightly, but all agree in making it 105 English feet.

  • Flattering remarks were showered on this colossus from all sides.

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
  • The North End Works should not be a monster with two heads, but a colossus with one head with my head.

    For Woman's Love Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
  • Wilson stared soberly at this school, at the colossus he had helped to create.

  • Before Col. —— could "realize the situation," he was in the attitude of the colossus of Rhodes.

British Dictionary definitions for colossus

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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for 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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colossus in Technology

(A huge and ancient statue on the Greek island of Rhodes).
1. The Colossus and Colossus Mark II computers used by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, UK during the Second World War to crack the "Tunny" cipher produced by the Lorenz SZ 40 and SZ 42 machines. Colossus was a semi-fixed-program vacuum tube calculator (unlike its near-contemporary, the freely programmable Z3).
["Breaking the enemy's code", Glenn Zorpette, IEEE Spectrum, September 1987, pp. 47-51.]
2. The computer in the 1970 film, "Colossus: The Forbin Project". Forbin is the designer of a computer that will run all of America's nuclear defences. Shortly after being turned on, it detects the existence of Goliath, the Soviet counterpart, previously unknown to US Planners. Both computers insist that they be linked, whereupon the two become a new super computer and threaten the world with the immediate launch of nuclear weapons if they are detached. Colossus begins to give its plans for the management of the world under its guidance. Forbin and the other scientists form a technological resistance to Colossus which must operate underground.
The Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064177).
(2007-01-04)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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