mid-15c., "exalted, glorious, great in actions or deeds," from Old French magnificent, a back-formation from Latin magnificentior, comparative of magnificus "great, elevated, noble, distinguished," literally "doing great deeds," from magnus "great" (from PIE root *meg- "great") + combining form of facere "to make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). Meaning "characterized by grandeur or stateliness; living in splendor" is from 1520s. As an exclamation expressing enthusiastic admiration, by 1704.
updated on October 30, 2018
Dictionary entries near magnificent