mag·​nan·​i·​mous | \ mag-ˈna-nə-məs How to pronounce magnanimous (audio) \

Essential Meaning of magnanimous

formal : having or showing a generous and kind nature The team was magnanimous in victory. [=the team treated its defeated opponents in a respectful and generous way] She was too magnanimous to resent all the things others had said to her. a magnanimous gesture

Full Definition of magnanimous

1 : showing or suggesting a lofty and courageous spirit the irreproachable lives and magnanimous sufferings of their followers— Joseph Addison
2 : showing or suggesting nobility of feeling and generosity of mind too sincere for dissimulation, too magnanimous for resentment— Ellen Glasgow

Other Words from magnanimous

magnanimously adverb
magnanimousness noun

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.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web But critics, including Governor Charlie Baker, argue the program is too magnanimous, and a 2021 report by a state government commission supports that contention, concluding that the tax credits cost the state about $100,000 per job created., 2 Nov. 2021 Courteney Cox, who played Monica Geller on the show, remembered Tyler as a magnanimous person. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, 25 Oct. 2021 In addition to up and comers, the awards also honor women in the categories of change-makers, tech trailblazers, entrepreneurs, DEI champions and magnanimous mentors. Terry Flores, Variety, 8 Oct. 2021 The programs are a magnanimous gesture on the part of Amazon. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 That was a more magnanimous answer, maybe, than the one Kelly gave five days earlier when the subject was raised. Mike Berardino, Forbes, 19 Sep. 2021 To consider Kanye and consider his sound alone is to miss the point of his mad, magnanimous project. Jason Parham, Wired, 17 Sep. 2021 On a sympathy visit after the tragedy, his magnanimous landlord, Mr. Vincent, tells him not to worry about the next month’s rent. Teju Cole, The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021 Fieri has reportedly been feeling magnanimous there, even leaving a $5,000 tip at a Miami Beach restaurant earlier this week. Chloe Sorvino, Forbes, 23 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of magnanimous

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for magnanimous

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

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Time Traveler for magnanimous

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The first known use of magnanimous was in 1547

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Last Updated

8 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Magnanimous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for magnanimous


mag·​nan·​i·​mous | \ mag-ˈna-nə-məs How to pronounce magnanimous (audio) \

Kids Definition of magnanimous

: generous and noble

Other Words from magnanimous

magnanimously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on magnanimous

Nglish: Translation of magnanimous for Spanish Speakers


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