• synonyms

magnum opus

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  1. a great work, especially the chief work of a writer or artist: Proust's magnum opus is Remembrance of Things Past.
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Origin of magnum opus

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1785–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for magnum opus

magnum opus

  1. a great work of art or literature, esp the greatest single work of an artist
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Word Origin

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 magnum opus

"masterpiece, a person's greatest work," Latin, literally "great work" (see magnum + opus).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

magnum opus in Culture

magnum opus

[(mag-nuhm oh-puhs)]

The most important work in a person's career, especially in literature, art, or scholarship: “Moby Dick was Melville's magnum opus.” From Latin, meaning “great work.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.