generous in forgiving an insult or injury; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness: to be magnanimous toward one's enemies.
high-minded; noble: a just and magnanimous ruler.
proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character, etc.: a magnanimous gesture of forgiveness.

Origin of magnanimous

1575–85; < Latin magnanimus great-souled, equivalent to magn(us) magn- + anim(us) spirit, soul, mind + -us -ous
Related formsmag·nan·i·mous·ly, adverbmag·nan·i·mous·ness, nounun·mag·nan·i·mous, adjectiveun·mag·nan·i·mous·ly, adverbun·mag·nan·i·mous·ness, noun

Synonyms for magnanimous

1. big, liberal, unspiteful. 2. See noble. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magnanimous

Contemporary Examples of magnanimous

Historical Examples of magnanimous

  • But then, when it came to a show-down she might not be so magnanimous as she had appeared tonight.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • The magnanimous and intrepid Logan resolved on making an effort to save him.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare

    Alexander Scott Withers

  • She knew, indeed, that he had a magnanimous soul and a kind heart.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

  • There was a sting in that thought, too; but he struggled to be magnanimous.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Do you think the noble and magnanimous Guidobaldo would let you hang?


    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for magnanimous



generous and noble
Derived Formsmagnanimously, adverbmagnanimousness, noun

Word Origin for magnanimous

C16: from Latin magnanimus great-souled
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

Word Origin and History for magnanimous

1580s, a back-formation from magnanimity + -ous, or else from Latin magnanimus "highminded," literally "great-souled" (see magnanimity). Related: Magnanimously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper