mag·​nate | \ ˈmag-ˌnāt, -nət\

Definition of magnate

: a person of rank, power, influence, or distinction often in a specified area a railroad magnate

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of magnate in a Sentence

a studio magnate who had the biggest stars in Hollywood at his beck and call

Recent Examples on the Web

One of Manafort’s first contacts in the region was a Ukrainian aluminum magnate with ties to the Kremlin, Oleg Deripaska. Rachel Weiner, The Seattle Times, "From six homes to a city jail: Paul Manafort, who redefined lobbying, faces trial Tuesday," 30 July 2018 Prosecutors accuse Neves of soliciting a bribe of more than $580,000 from meatpacking magnate Joesley Batista in exchange for political favors. Washington Post, "Brazil senator to stand trial on graft, obstruction charges," 17 Apr. 2018 Among the most prominent Russian tycoons identified Friday is metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire founder and majority shareholder of En+ Group. Saleha Mohsin,, "U.S. Sanctions Hit Putin Allies, Including Billionaire Deripaska," 6 Apr. 2018 Back then, Milo Yiannopoulos was still an obscure opinion journalist, and Donald Trump was still a reality-show magnate. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus," 23 May 2016 Craft’s husband, Joseph Craft, is a billionaire coal magnate. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "US ambassador to Canada tries to “both sides” climate science," 6 Dec. 2018 Tanker executives expect the next merger to involve Frontline Ltd. , controlled by Norwegian ship magnate John Fredriksen. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Diamond S Shipping Merges With Tanker Operator in $1.65 Billion Deal," 28 Nov. 2018 Opened in 1903, the District’s first central library is named for Gilded Age steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 China had been pressuring the U.S. to extradite Guo Wengui, an outspoken critic of Beijing who resides in a luxury apartment in New York City and claims to have valuable information on top Chinese officials and business magnates. Scott Patterson, WSJ, "1MDB Fugitive Jho Low Harbored by China, Malaysia Says," 17 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magnate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of magnate

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for magnate

Middle English magnates, plural, from Late Latin, from Latin magnus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about magnate

Statistics for magnate

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for magnate

The first known use of magnate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for magnate



English Language Learners Definition of magnate

: a person who has great wealth and power in a particular business or industry

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on magnate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with magnate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for magnate

Spanish Central: Translation of magnate

Nglish: Translation of magnate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of magnate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on magnate

What made you want to look up magnate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!