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A friend of mine often uses the word "magnanimous" to mean "large and impressive in a positive way". Examples: "Look at this magnanimous snow!" "He had a magnanimous, bushy eyebrows."

I understand this to be incorrect usage of the word. Is there a similar-sounding word, preferably with the "magnus" root, which has the meaning my friend is looking for?

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    Magnificent? Maggot-ridden? – John Lawler Mar 5 '15 at 21:07
  • Mastodontic....? – user66974 Mar 5 '15 at 21:10
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    Humongous ... but that is a regional word. – GEdgar Mar 5 '15 at 21:17
  • The prefix magni- (or magn- in cases where followed by a vowel) has this meaning. You'd have to come up with the ending that basically means nothing. – Ian MacDonald Mar 5 '15 at 21:45
  • Magnum?... :) – 0.. Mar 5 '15 at 22:35
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Magnificent?

Impressively beautiful, elaborate, or extravagant; striking
Oxford Dictionary

It doesn't really imply anything about size, but it does derive from magnus.

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  • This is a good suggestion, but who would mistake magnificent , a fairly common word, with magnanimous. – user66974 Mar 5 '15 at 21:44
  • @Josh61: yeah, have you read anything online lately? People encounter a word or saying that they don't know the meaning of, make an incorrect guess about its meaning based on the context, and then go off using the word with the incorrect meaning, totally convinced that they're oh-so-intelligent. – Marthaª Mar 5 '15 at 22:32
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There is (but it isn't in common use).

Magnitudinous: The adjectival form of magnitude.

Having the quality of greatness in size, amount, importance, etc.
Wordnik

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  • Please cite the source in your hotlink. Collins also lists the word. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 5 '15 at 23:28

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