[mag-neyt, -nit]


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.

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 magnates

Contemporary Examples of magnates

  • Until recently, the Hirst Spot paintings had frequently supplied the background in newspaper photographs of magnates on the go.

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    Anthony Haden-Guest

    June 18, 2009

Historical Examples of magnates

British Dictionary definitions for magnates



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 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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper