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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for magnificence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A queen in the magnificence of her courtly surroundings could not have conquered him so quickly.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • In all their magnificence they stalked abroad, lords of the veldt.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • But the visions of Mrs Verloc lacked nobility and magnificence.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • Connal enjoyed Ormond's surprise at the magnificence of his hotel.

  • There may be magnificence in the smashing; but the thing is smashed.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • Your house, table, equipages, may be all in the highest style of magnificence.

  • Her senses were bewildered in the contemplation of so much grandeur and magnificence.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
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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