late 14c., magnifien, "to speak or act for the glory or honor (of someone or something)," from Old French magnefiier "glorify, magnify," from Latin magnificare "esteem greatly, extol, make much of," from magnificus "great, elevated, noble," literally "doing great deeds," from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Meaning "increase the apparent size of by use of a telescope or microscope" is from 1660s, said to be a development peculiar to English. Related: Magnified; magnifying. Magnifying glass is by 1650s.
1540s, "one who or that which enlarges," agent noun from magnify. Specifically as "a magnifying lens" by 1660s.
It forms all or part of: acromegaly; Almagest; Charlemagne; maestro; magisterial; magistral; magistrate; Magna Carta; magnate; magnitude; magnum; magnanimity; magnanimous; magni-; Magnificat; magnificence; magnificent; magnify; magniloquence; magniloquent; Magnus; maharajah; maharishi; mahatma; Mahayana; Maia; majesty; major; major-domo; majority; majuscule; master; maxim; maximum; may (v.2) "to take part in May Day festivities;" May; mayor; mega-; megalo-; mickle; Mister; mistral; mistress; much; omega.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Armenian mets "great;" Sanskrit mahat- "great, mazah- "greatness;" Avestan mazant- "great;" Hittite mekkish "great, large;" Greek megas "great, large;" Latin magnus "great, large, much, abundant," major "greater," maximus "greatest;" Middle Irish mag, maignech "great, large;" Middle Welsh meith "long, great."
"unreasonable or extravagant amplification," 1560s, from Latin exaggerationem (nominative exaggeratio) "elevation, exaltation" (figurative), noun of action from past-participle stem of exaggerare "amplify, magnify," literally "heap up" (see exaggerate).
Reflexive use (It wonders me that "I wonder why ...") was common in Middle English and as late as Tindale (1533), and is said to survive in Yorkshire/Lincolnshire. In Pennsylvania German areas it is idiomatic from German das wundert mich.
"Hymn of the Virgin Mary," c. 1200, from Latin third person singular of magnificare, from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). So called from the opening of the Virgin's hymn (Luke i.46, in Vulgate Magnificat anima mea dominum "My soul doth magnify the Lord") which is used as a canticle.
To correct Magnificat (before one has learnt Te Deum) is a 16c.-17c. expression for presumptuous fault-finding, attempting that for which one has no qualifications.
"put an end to, do away with," mid-15c., from Old French aboliss-, present participle stem of abolir "to abolish" (15c.), from Latin abolere "destroy, efface, annihilate; cause to die out, retard the growth of," which is perhaps from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + the second element of adolere "to grow, magnify" (and formed as an opposite to that word), from PIE *ol-eye-, causative of root *al- (2) "to grow, nourish," and perhaps formed as an antonym to adolere.
But the Latin word rather could be from a root in common with Greek ollymi, apollymi "destroy." Tucker writes that there has been a confusion of forms in Latin, based on similar roots, one meaning "to grow," the other "to destroy." Now generally used of institutions, customs, etc.; application to persons and concrete objects has long been obsolete. Related: Abolished; abolishing.
Abolish is a strong word, and signifies a complete removal, generally but not always by a summary act. It is the word specially used in connection with things that have been long established or deeply rooted, as an institution or a custom : as to abolish slavery or polygamy. [Century Dictionary, 1900]