from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Highly moral, especially in showing kindness or forgiveness, as in overlooking insults or not seeking revenge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Great of mind or heart; of high and steadfast courage; elevated in. soul or in sentiment; high-minded; raised above what is low, mean, or ungenerous.
  • Dictated by greatness of mind or heart; exhibiting nobleness of soul; liberal and honorable; unselfish.
  • Synonyms Generous (see noble); high-minded, great-souled, chivalrous.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Great of mind; elevated in soul or in sentiment; raised above what is low, mean, or ungenerous; of lofty and courageous spirit
  • adjective Dictated by or exhibiting nobleness of soul; honorable; noble; not selfish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Noble and generous in spirit.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective noble and generous in spirit
  • adjective generous and understanding and tolerant


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Latin magnanimus : magnus, great; see meg- in Indo-European roots + animus, soul, mind; see anə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin magnanimus, from magnus ("great") + animus ("soul, mind").


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  • I think this is another one I misread as a child - "magnamanious".

    July 19, 2007

  • At least one translation of Aristotle uses the word magnanimous to refer to a person who is neither arrogant nor excessively humble. I like that definition better, because there isn't another word for that meaning, whereas generous is a perfectly good word, and not in need of a synonym.

    July 9, 2008

  • If you speak Italian, the conventional English pronunciation of this probably strikes you as ugly.

    July 10, 2008