magnum opus

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin magnum opus (great work).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Examples

magnum opus (plural magna opera or magnum opuses or magnum opi)

  1. A great or important work of literature, music or art, a masterpiece.
  2. The best, most popular, or most renowned achievement of an author or artist, representing their major life effort.
    The 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is widely considered to be George Orwell's magnum opus.

Usage notes[edit]

The Latin plural magna opera may be preferred in some academic and literary contexts, in popular usage the English-style plural magnum opuses is more common. The plural magnum opi, although rare and likely regarded as incorrect in formal works, does see some use.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language [Fourth Edition]

Further reading[edit]