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[mag-nif-uh-suh ns] /mægˈnɪf ə səns/
the quality or state of being magnificent; splendor; grandeur; sublimity:
the magnificence of snow-covered mountains; the magnificence of his achievements.
impressiveness of surroundings:
the magnificence of Versailles.
Origin of magnificence
1300-50; Middle English < Latin magnificentia, equivalent to magnificent- magnificent + -ia -y3; see -ence
1. majesty, nobility, stateliness. 2. luxuriousness, opulence, sumptuousness.
2. squalor, poverty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for magnificence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then they took some tea in the little sitting room of the master of all this magnificence.

    Beatrice H. Rider Haggard
  • There may be magnificence in the smashing; but the thing is smashed.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • That when a woman buys cigars for a man she always judges the quality of the cigars by the magnificence of the cigar-bands.

    The American Credo George Jean Nathan
  • Your house, table, equipages, may be all in the highest style of magnificence.

  • This magnificence is explained by the fact that it was customary for the lady of the house to lie in bed while receiving company.

    The Decoration of Houses Edith Wharton
  • I have fled from myself; I have fled from the magnificence of my retinue, to find variety.

    Imogen William Godwin
  • From this magnificence of nature and art, the transition was painful to what I saw of the poorer population.

    Letters of a Traveller William Cullen Bryant
British Dictionary definitions for magnificence


the quality of being magnificent
Word Origin
C14: via French from Latin magnificentia
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
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Word Origin and History for magnificence

mid-14c., "great-mindedness, courage," from Old French magnificence "splendor, nobility, grandeur," from Latin magnificentia "splendor, munificence," from stem of magnificus "great, elevated, noble, eminent," also "splendid, rich, fine, costly," literally "doing great deeds," from magnus "great" (see magnate) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Meaning "greatness, grandeur, glory" in English is from late 14c. That of "beauty, splendor, wealth" is 15c. As one of the Aristotelian and scholastic virtues, it translates Greek megaloprepeia "liberality of expenditure combined with good taste."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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