[ mag-neyt, -nit ]
/ ˈmæg neɪt, -nɪt /


a person of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise, field of business, etc.: a railroad magnate.
a person of eminence or distinction in any field: literary magnates.
a member of the former upper house in either the Polish or Hungarian parliament.

Nearby words

  1. magnaflux,
  2. magnalium,
  3. magnanimity,
  4. magnanimous,
  5. magnanimously,
  6. magnesia,
  7. magnesite,
  8. magnesium,
  9. magnesium arsenate,
  10. magnesium carbonate

Origin of magnate

1400–50; back formation from Middle English magnates (plural) < Late Latin magnātēs leading people, equivalent to Latin magn(us) magn- + -ātēs, plural of -ās noun suffix

Related formsmag·nate·ship, noun

Can be confusedmagnate magnet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magnate

British Dictionary definitions for magnate


/ (ˈmæɡneɪt, -nɪt) /


a person of power and rank in any sphere, esp in industry
history a great nobleman
(formerly) a member of the upper chamber in certain European parliaments, as in Hungary
Derived Formsmagnateship, noun

Word Origin for magnate

C15: back formation from earlier magnates from Late Latin: great men, plural of magnās, from Latin magnus great

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 magnate



mid-15c., "great man, noble, man of wealth," from Late Latin magnates, plural of magnas "great person, nobleman," from Latin magnus "great, large, big" (of size), "abundant" (of quantity), "great, considerable" (of value), "strong, powerful" (of force); of persons, "elder, aged," also, figuratively, "great, mighty, grand, important," from PIE *mag-no-, from root *meg- "great" (cf. Sanskrit maha-, mahat- "great;" Greek megas, fem. megale "great, large;" Gothic mikils, Old English micel "great, big, many;" see mickle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper