• synonyms


[mag-neyt, -nit]
  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.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for magnates


  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
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Derived Formsmagnateship, noun

Word Origin

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 magnates



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper