[ 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.

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 forms

mag·nate·ship, noun

Can be confused

magnate magnet Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magnates

British Dictionary definitions for magnates


/ (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 Forms

magnateship, 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