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[mag-nif-i-kat, -kaht; mahg-nif-i-kaht, mahn-yif-] /mægˈnɪf ɪˌkæt, -ˌkɑt; mɑgˈnɪf ɪˌkɑt, mɑnˈyɪf-/
(italics) the hymn of the Virgin Mary in Luke, 1:46–55, beginning “My soul doth magnify the Lord,” used as a canticle at evensong or vespers.
a musical setting for this.
Origin of Magnificat
1150-1200; Middle English < Latin: (it) magnifies (from the first word of the hymn) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Magnificat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The "Hosanna" is again heard, and the symphony ends in soft harmonies (B major) with the first Magnificat theme.

    Franz Liszt James Huneker
  • During the Magnificat I was, I regret to say, almost overcome with sleep.

  • The next she knew was that she heard the Magnificat being sung in honour of her cure.

    Lourdes Robert Hugh Benson
  • Plummer wonders if James had not heard his mother recite the Magnificat.

  • At vespers, the choir sang a motet, and the Magnificat in German, besides leading the congregation in some hymns.

    Bach Charles Francis Abdy Williams
  • I couldn't so much as go through the Magnificat if you were to shoot me.'

  • I should however prefer the cantatas: he already has the "Magnificat" and the Motets, and others.

  • With his mighty voice, he filled the church when he led the Magnificat at vespers.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • I have a special, undiluted dislike of one picture,—the Magnificat.

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
British Dictionary definitions for Magnificat


(Christianity) the hymn of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:46-55), used as a canticle
Word Origin
from the opening phrase in the Latin version, Magnificat anima mea Dominum (my soul doth magnify the Lord)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Magnificat

c.1200, from Latin third person singular of magnificare (see magnificence), from first words of the Virgin's hymn (Luke i:46, in Vulgate Magnificat anima mea dominum "My soul doth magnify the Lord") used as a canticle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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