Scandinavian masc. proper name, popular with early kings, the first to use it was Magnus I, king of Norway and Denmark (d. 1047), who evidently took it in emulation of Charlemagne (Latin Carolus Magnus) under the impression that magnus (Latin, literally "great," from PIE root *meg- "great") was a personal name.
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."
island in the Balearics, from Latin maior "larger," irregular comparative of magnus "large, great" (from PIE root *meg- "great"); so called because it is the largest of the three islands. Related: Majorcan.
"exaggerated eloquence, loftiness of speech or expression," 1620s, from Latin magniloquentia "elevated language, lofty style," from magniloquus "pompous in talk, vaunting, boastful," from combining form of magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + -loquus "speaking," from loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak").
"lofty or ambitious in expression," 1650s, a back-formation from magniloquence, or else from Latin magniloquentia "lofty style of language," from magniloquus "pompous in talk, vaunting, boastful," from combining form of magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + -loquus "speaking," from loqui "to speak" (from PIE root *tolkw- "to speak"). Related: Magniloquently.
1580s, "nobly brave or valiant," from magnanimity + -ous, or else from Latin magnanimus "highminded," literally "great-souled," from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + animus "mind, soul, spirit" (see animus). From 1590s as "elevated in soul or sentiment, superior to petty resentments." Related: Magnanimously.
on the Great Seal of the United States of America, apparently an allusion to line 5 of Virgil's "Eclogue IV," in an 18c. edition: Magnus ab integro seclorum nascitur ordo "The great series of ages begins anew." The seal's designer, Charles Thomson, wrote that the words "signify the beginnings of the New American Era." (see Annuit Coeptis).
mid-15c., "high official, great man, noble, man of wealth," from Late Latin magnates, plural of magnas "great person, nobleman," from Latin magnus "great, large, big" (of size), "abundant" (of quantity), "great, considerable" (of value), "strong, powerful" (of force); of persons, "elder, aged," also, figuratively, "great, mighty, grand, important," from suffixed form of PIE root *meg- "great."