[mag-neyt, -nit]
See more synonyms for magnate on
  1. a person of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise, field of business, etc.: a railroad magnate.
  2. a person of eminence or distinction in any field: literary magnates.
  3. a member of the former upper house in either the Polish or Hungarian parliament.

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. 2018

Examples from the Web for magnate

Contemporary Examples of magnate

Historical Examples of magnate

  • Then, as a new thought came to the magnate, he spoke with a trace of anxiety.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Then he dropped to a seat on the couch, and proceeded to make his confidences to the magnate.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The magnate, red-faced and angry, returned with him to the station.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The boy grinned bashfully and opined the magnate just mentioned was "all right."


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He was dressed like a magnate who was also a person of taste.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

British Dictionary definitions for magnate


  1. a person of power and rank in any sphere, esp in industry
  2. history a great nobleman
  3. (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