Definition of magnum opus in English:

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magnum opus

Pronunciation: /ˌmaɡnəm ˈōpəs/

noun (plural magnum opuses or magna opera /ˈmaɡnə ˈōpərə/ /ˈäpərə/)

A large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.
Example sentences
  • The comic version may well turn out to be the writer Alan Moore's magnum opus.
  • A central theme of his poetry, as well as of his magnum opus, the novel Doctor Zhivago, is man's destiny in revolutionary times.
  • On the eve of the First World War, having completed his magnum opus Principia Mathematica on which he had toiled for 10 years, Russell was at a loose end.


Late 18th century: from Latin, 'great work'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mag·num o·pus

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