9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[mag-nif-uh-suh nt] /mægˈnɪf ə sənt/
making a splendid appearance or show; of exceptional beauty, size, etc.:
a magnificent cathedral; magnificent scenery.
extraordinarily fine; superb:
a magnificent opportunity; magnificent weather.
noble; sublime:
a magnificent poem.
(usually initial capital letter) (formerly used as a title of some rulers) great; grand:
Lorenzo the Magnificent.
lavishly munificent; extravagant:
a magnificent inheritance.
Origin of magnificent
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin magnificent- (stem recorded in comparative, superlative, and other forms) for magnificus. See magnific, -ent
Related forms
magnificently, adverb
magnificentness, noun
supermagnificent, adjective
supermagnificently, adverb
Can be confused
magnificent, munificent (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. majestic, sumptuous, opulent; exquisite, sublime. Magnificent, gorgeous, splendid, superb are terms of high admiration and all are used informally in weak exaggeration. Something that is magnificent is beautiful, princely, grand, or ostentatious: a magnificent display of paintings; a magnificent view of the harbor. That which is gorgeous moves one to admiration by the richness and (often colorful) variety of its effects: a gorgeous array of handsome gifts. That which is splendid is dazzling or impressive in its brilliance, radiance, or excellence: splendid jewels; a splendid body of scholars. That which is superb is above others in, or is of the highest degree of, excellence, elegance, or (less often, today) grandeur: a superb concert; superb wines.
1. modest; poor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for magnificent
  • The result is magnificent from start to finish.
  • You are cruising in the troposphere of Saturn under the most magnificent ring structure in the solar system.
  • Maybe you watched yeast dough swelling as it proofed to become a magnificent wreath, a braid, or coiled buns.
  • The old perky magnificent irreverence kept bubbling out.
  • This ecoregion harbors one of only two remaining populations of this magnificent mammal.
  • But stargazers everywhere will rue the loss of Hubble's magnificent view.
  • What a magnificent tournament this has been.
  • In the short time since it appeared, this magnificent boxed set has been flying off the shelves.
  • We saw a magnificent view at the top and a coyote crossing the road at the bottom.
  • Someone is going to kill one of these shy and magnificent creatures just to prove they exist -- but then one less of them exists.
British Dictionary definitions for magnificent


splendid or impressive in appearance
superb or very fine
(esp of ideas) noble or elevated
(archaic) great or exalted in rank or action
Derived Forms
magnificently, adverb
magnificentness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin magnificentio more splendid; irregular comparative of magnificus great in deeds; see magnific
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 magnificent

mid-15c., from Old French magnificent, a back-formation from Latin magnificentior, comparative of magnificus "great, elevated, noble, distinguished," literally "doing great deeds" (see magnificence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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