Definition of magnanimous
magnanimous was our Word of the Day on 04/14/2017. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of magnanimous in a Sentence
“No problem,” I dismissed his concerns with a magnanimous flick of the wrist. —Tom Perrotta, Joe College, 2000
… 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
… 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
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
She was too magnanimous to resent all the things others had said to her.
a magnanimous donation to the town's animal shelter
Recent Examples of magnanimous from the Web
Magnanimous girlfriends and pug owners insist that size doesn't matter, but cosmetic chemists disagree.
When Beatriz’s beater of a car breaks down, Cathy invites her to stay — the sort of magnanimous gesture a woman of her class might make.
With altruistic motives but lucrative business prospects, some see Zuckerberg's initiative less as a magnanimous Internet project than as a version of high-tech imperialism.
The magnanimous call for charity and the cries of Irish suffering, although heard by American officials, did not take precedence over national interest.
Part of its instructive force is due to the magnanimous presence of Sirota, a violist and mainstay of the New York new-music scene.
It will be presented as a magnanimous gesture, and Rick Spielman may take the bait.
The United States was magnanimous after defeating Japan.
Most of us don’t come with the tools to always be civilized and gracious and generous and magnanimous.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magnanimous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
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.
MAGNANIMOUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of magnanimous for English Language Learners
: having or showing a generous and kind nature
MAGNANIMOUS Defined for Kids
Definition of magnanimous for Students
: generous and noble
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
What made you want to look up magnanimous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).