Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Magniloquent

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is magniloquent. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Magniloquent describes language that is intended to sound very impressive and important, or a person who uses such language.

// The magniloquent sportscaster sometimes got so carried away with his monologues that he would forget to describe the action on the field.


“[Matt Damon’s] star power is based on brains and brawn; he can recite magniloquent phrases while also giving the impression that he could fillet an enemy … armed with only a Bic pen.” — Jody Rosen, The New York Times, 2 Feb. 2022

Did You Know?

Magnus means “great” in Latin; loqui is a Latin verb meaning “to speak.” Combine the two and you get magniloquus, the Latin predecessor of magniloquent. English-speakers started using magniloquent in the 1600s, despite having had its synonym grandiloquent since the 1500s. (Grandiloquent comes from Latin grandiloquus, which combines loqui and grandis, another word for “great” in Latin.) Today, these synonyms continue to exist side by side and to be used interchangeably, though grandiloquent is the more common of the two.

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