mag·​nif·​i·​cent mag-ˈni-fə-sənt How to pronounce magnificent (audio)
: great in deed or exalted in place
used only of former famous rulers
Lorenzo the Magnificent
: marked by stately grandeur and lavishness
a magnificent way of life
The coronation was a magnificent sight.
: sumptuous in structure and adornment
a magnificent cathedral
broadly : strikingly beautiful or impressive
a magnificent physique
: impressive to the mind or spirit : sublime
magnificent prose
know the truth for the magnificent purpose of becoming freePhilip Wylie
: exceptionally fine
a magnificent day
valley crops were magnificent that yearJulian Dana
magnificently adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for magnificent

grand, magnificent, imposing, stately, majestic, grandiose mean large and impressive.

grand adds to greatness of size the implications of handsomeness and dignity.

a grand staircase

magnificent implies an impressive largeness proportionate to scale without sacrifice of dignity or good taste.

magnificent paintings

imposing implies great size and dignity but especially stresses impressiveness.

an imposing edifice

stately may suggest poised dignity, erectness of bearing, handsomeness of proportions, ceremonious deliberation of movement.

the stately procession

majestic combines the implications of imposing and stately and usually adds a suggestion of solemn grandeur.

a majestic waterfall

grandiose implies a size or scope exceeding ordinary experience

grandiose hydroelectric projects

but is most commonly applied derogatorily to inflated pretension or absurd exaggeration.

grandiose schemes

Example Sentences

the magnificent cathedrals of Europe He gave a magnificent performance.
Recent Examples on the Web That turns out to be one of the less fascinating things about this magnificent athlete. Edward Kosner, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2023 The pleats are magnificent and washes like a dream! Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Mar. 2023 Rest assured, the ship's captain will stay in this prime focal point for as long as possible, hoping the weather clears for a magnificent view of this natural beauty. Lori A. May, Chron, 19 Mar. 2023 The new bike lanes, complete with pylons, are magnificent. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Mar. 2023 Sellers was magnificent Friday, tossing six dominant innings to carry Oregon State (11-2) to a businesslike victory in its Pac-12 opener. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, 10 Mar. 2023 Until the final game of his career. Facing off against a Georgia defense full of future NFL first-rounders in the College Football Playoff, Stroud was magnificent, using his legs both to create big plays in the passing game and to pick up critical yards when Ohio State needed them. The Indianapolis Star, 3 Mar. 2023 Instead, the author chronicles his personal transformation amid a magnificent collection of galleries watched over by a diverse and genial workforce. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Feb. 2023 With the capacity to hold 3,000 people, this magnificent complex thrived in Placidia’s age. Tony Perrottet, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'magnificent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of magnificent was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near magnificent

Cite this Entry

“Magnificent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


mag·​nif·​i·​cent mag-ˈnif-ə-sənt How to pronounce magnificent (audio)
: having impressive beauty
the magnificent cathedrals of Europe
: noble entry 1 sense 5
a magnificent character
magnificently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on magnificent

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