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

  • n. A great work, especially a literary or artistic masterpiece.
  • n. The greatest single work of an artist, writer, or composer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A great work of literature or art, a masterpiece.
  • n. The best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author or artist, representing his major life effort.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A great work of art or literature.
  • n. The greatest work or achievement of a particular artist, writer, or other individual.

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

  • n. a great work of art or literature


Latin : magnum, neuter of magnus, great + opus, work.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin magnum opusĀ ("great work"). (Wiktionary)


Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • WORD: magnum opus

    EXAMPLE from Charlotte's Web:

    Next to her, attached to the ceiling, Wilbur saw a curious object. It was a sort of sac, or cocoon. It was peach-colored and looked as though it were made of cotton candy.

    "What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it? Is it a plaything?

    "Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus."

    "I don't know what a magnum opus is," said Wilbur.

    "That's Latin," explained Charlotte. "It means 'great work.' This egg sac is my great work -- the finest thing I have ever made."

    "What's inside it? asked Wilbur. "Eggs?"

    "Five hundred and fourteen of them," she replied.

    -- 1952 E.B. WHITE. Charlotte's Web. Chapter XIX -- The Egg Sac (pages 144 - 145).

    September 28, 2013

  • This made me think of Magnum Opie... which, unfortunately, induced a fit of giggles. How sad is that?

    June 28, 2011

  • a big Irish cat.

    July 14, 2008