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adjective mag·nan·i·mous \mag-ˈna-nə-məs\

Simple Definition of magnanimous

  • : having or showing a generous and kind nature

Full Definition of magnanimous

  1. 1 :  showing or suggesting a lofty and courageous spirit <the irreproachable lives and magnanimous sufferings of their followers — Joseph Addison>

  2. 2 :  showing or suggesting nobility of feeling and generosity of mind <too sincere for dissimulation, too magnanimous for resentment — Ellen Glasgow>

mag·nan·i·mous·ly adverb
mag·nan·i·mous·ness noun

Examples of magnanimous

  1. “No problem,” I dismissed his concerns with a magnanimous flick of the wrist. —Tom Perrotta, Joe College, 2000

  2. … and many of them retain a respectful Eisenhower-or-Kennedy-era view of America as Japan's usually magnanimous elder brother. —James Fallows, Atlantic, August 1989

  3. … with the off-duty cops downing them as fast as he could pour, Leery could afford to be magnanimous and play the jukebox for the boys and girls. —Joseph Wambaugh, The Delta Star, 1983

  4. Levesque was magnanimous in victory, immediately reassuring English-speaking Quebecers that they were still welcome in the province, an integral part of its history. —Mordecai Richler, Atlantic, June 1983

  5. She was too magnanimous to resent all the things others had said to her.

  6. <a magnanimous donation to the town's animal shelter>

Origin of magnanimous

Latin magnanimus, from magnus great + animus spirit — more at much, animate

First Known Use: 1567

Rhymes with magnanimous

MAGNANIMOUS Defined for Kids


adjective mag·nan·i·mous \mag-ˈna-nə-məs\

Definition of magnanimous

  1. :  generous and noble

mag·nan·i·mous·ly adverb

Word Root of magnanimous

The Latin word anima, meaning “breath” or “spirit,” gives us the root anim. Words from the Latin anima have something to do with having breath or spirit. An animal is a living creature that breathes and can move around on its own. To animate something is to give it breath or life. Someone magnanimous has a courageous spirit.

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

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