mu·​nif·​i·​cent myu̇-ˈni-fə-sənt How to pronounce munificent (audio)
: very liberal in giving or bestowing (see bestow sense 4) : lavish
munificent donors
: characterized by great liberality or generosity
a munificent gift
munificence noun
munificently adverb

Did you know?

Munificent was formed back in the late 1500s when English speakers, perhaps inspired by similar words such as magnificent, altered the ending of munificence. Munificence in turn comes from munificus, the Latin word for "generous," which itself comes from munus, a Latin noun that is variously translated as "gift," "duty," or "service." Munus has done a fine service to English by giving us other terms related to service or compensation, including municipal and remunerate.

Choose the Right Synonym for munificent

liberal, generous, bountiful, munificent mean giving or given freely and unstintingly.

liberal suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given.

a teacher liberal with her praise

generous stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift.

a generous offer of help

bountiful suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing.

children spoiled by bountiful presents

munificent suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes.

a munificent foundation grant

Examples of munificent in a Sentence

a munificent host who has presided over many charitable events at his mansion
Recent Examples on the Web The white middle class absconded to the suburbs in droves, seriously depleting a once munificent tax base. Evan Kindley, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2023 Testing these munificent vehicles took us not only to DaimlerChrysler's proving grounds but also to our beloved collection of paved curves, whoop-de-dos, and foot-to-the-floor straightaways in southeastern Ohio's Hocking Hills. Don Schroeder, Car and Driver, 3 Jan. 2023 It’s become popular—even knee-jerk—to write off the difficulty businesses face finding workers as people staying at home, probably sitting around in their underwear, enjoying the munificent benefits unemployment brings. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Carla had no plausible explanation as to why Gianni should have been so munificent. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 7 Nov. 2022 But even these munificent gifts were dwarfed by other contributions, often from unknown donors. Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, 11 July 2022 More significantly, Rolling Stone wrote a critical piece about country singer Morgan Wallen, reminiscent of Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold’s Pulitzer-winning investigations of Donald Trump’s claims of his munificent charitable donations. Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2021 Like many startups, print-on-demand companies tend to coat themselves in munificent techno-marketing clichés. Roger Sollenberger, Wired, 16 Mar. 2020 Second is the munificent flow of remittances from millions of expat V4 citizens who now live and work in the EU, especially in Germany, Austria or Britain. The Economist, 24 Oct. 2019 See More

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

Word History


back-formation from munificence, from Latin munificentia, from munificus generous, from munus service, gift — more at mean

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of munificent was in 1565


Dictionary Entries Near munificent

Cite this Entry

“Munificent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


mu·​nif·​i·​cent myu̇-ˈnif-ə-sənt How to pronounce munificent (audio)
: very generous in giving
a munificent host
: given generously or in plenty
a munificent gift
munificently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on munificent

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