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magnum opus

a great work, especially the chief work of a writer or artist: Proust's magnum opus is Remembrance of Things Past.
Origin of magnum opus
Borrowed into English from Latin around 1785-95 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for magnum opus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is his magnum opus in literature, and exhibits wide and laborious research.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • But you must learn the dictation; the great book, the magnum opus, it is there.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • It does not appear that he had any idea of writing his magnum opus in French.

    Historical Essays James Ford Rhodes
  • Yet here it is, magnum opus, mocking the naturalist apparently to scorn.

    Across America James F. Rusling
  • Thence the Cathedral—to be the magnum opus of the good Archbishop.

  • Magnetised electricity is the first matter of the magnum opus.

    The Browning Cyclopdia Edward Berdoe
British Dictionary definitions for magnum opus

magnum opus

a great work of art or literature, esp the greatest single work of an artist
Word Origin
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 magnum opus

"masterpiece, a person's greatest work," Latin, literally "great work" (see magnum + opus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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magnum opus in Culture
magnum opus [(mag-nuhm oh-puhs)]

The most important work in a person's career, especially in literature, art, or scholarship: “Moby Dick was Melville's magnum opus.” From Latin, meaning “great work.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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