Definition of magnanimous
- the irreproachable lives and magnanimous sufferings of their followers
- —Joseph Addison
- too sincere for dissimulation, too magnanimous for resentment
- —Ellen Glasgow
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She was too magnanimous to resent all the things others had said to her.
a magnanimous donation to the town's animal shelter
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When you see "anima," "animus," or a similar formation in a word, it's an indicator of something alive, lively, or spirited. Something "animated" is full of life, for example, and an "animal" is a living, breathing thing. The Latin word animus means "soul" or "spirit." In "magnanimous," that "animus" is joined by Latin magnus, meaning "great." Basically meaning "greatness of spirit," "magnanimity" is the opposite of pettiness. A truly magnanimous person can lose without complaining and win without gloating. Angry disputes can sometimes be resolved when one side makes a magnanimous gesture toward another.
: having or showing a generous and kind nature
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