Definition of magnum in English:



  • 1A wine bottle of twice the standard size, normally 11/2 litres.

    ‘a magnum of champagne’
    • ‘In Bordeaux, a double magnum is traditionally considered to be 3 liters, while a Jeroboam is 4.5 liters.’
    • ‘While available in magnums, this is not a wine requiring the slow maturation that a larger bottle brings.’
    • ‘Christian Hadfield won the best patisserie dish in a live cookout and received a trophy, and a magnum of red burgundy for his efforts.’
    • ‘Both of these wine bars will boast lists of several hundred bottles of wine in all sizes, from magnums to halves, with perhaps up to a hundred ultimately available by the glass.’
    • ‘A rare magnum of champagne to celebrate the 1981 marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales is to be auctioned in Swindon.’
    • ‘With the Twelve Days Of Christmas firmly forgotten about, the revellers had a fantastic time, drinking a magnum of Belgian beer Duvel outside the Minster.’
    • ‘We took the Tube to ‘the Famous Shoe Designer's’ house and bought a bottle of £4 white wine, but after we arrived they popped open a magnum of champagne.’
    • ‘In addition to receiving 25% of the purse, the winner of the Pro event will also take home a magnum of Moet & Chandon White Star Champagne.’
    • ‘William E. Heinecke and Kevin J. Beauvais open the ‘fiery’ champagne magnums, declaring the party open.’
    • ‘The generous owner of Le Vigneron had opened a dusty magnum from his dimly-lit vault.’
    • ‘Last Christmas, he presented each of his suite-holders and front-row seat-holders at Toyota Center with a magnum of his wine.’
    • ‘While not a venue for the little black dress or magnums of champagne, the food here is very good and the prices are value for money.’
    • ‘The match will be followed by the presentation of the awards and the annual draw, the first prize of which is £50 and a magnum of champagne.’
    • ‘McIlvanney made up for his absence by despatching three magnums of excellent champagne for Fyall and his guests, and a magnum of Krug for the birthday boy himself.’
    • ‘At the average grand prix there are 4000 VIP guests who between them guzzle down 2,300 lobsters, 1.4 tonnes of beef, 1.2 tonnes of fish and 5,500 magnums of champagne.’
    • ‘Spot prizes were raffled after the ride out with a magnum of champagne attracting much attention from the ticket buyers.’
    • ‘Buyers can also request their wine in less common formats - half bottles, magnums and such like - and you can usually expect to save yourself some money.’
    • ‘The chain's strong concept of family-style dining, also calls for larger-style wine bottles, such as the popular magnums, and double magnums, he said.’
    • ‘At times there were just eight senior players in training, not enough to crack open his magnum of champagne as Fulham's player of the month for October.’
    • ‘You've never seen five cameramen move so quickly as when there's a magnum of Champagne being sprayed in their direction.’
  • 2trademark in US A gun designed to fire cartridges that are more powerful than its calibre would suggest.

    ‘that magnum has a kick like a field gun’
    [as modifier] ‘a magnum bullet’
    • ‘Officer Humphrey fired the last shot from the magnum.’
    • ‘The sixgun and cartridge would become platforms for the magnums of the future.’
    • ‘The magnum only carried a bullet at a time, so Nanook reloaded every time he shot.’
    • ‘Winchester continues its innovation of the short magnum with the Winchester Super Short Magnum for 2003.’
    • ‘Like other rimfire magnums, it seems to thrive on the longer barrel lengths.’
    • ‘Casull holds a couple-dozen major patents, and is, in fact, a complete gun designer covering everything from mini-revolvers to machine guns to magnum handguns.’
    • ‘The four officers beside them take out their magnums and check the magazines.’
    • ‘With the exception of the magnums, revolvers seem to last almost forever, but once more it's a matter of degree.’
    • ‘For its part, the Stutzen should appeal to the magnum air rifle buff who can also appreciate uncompromising refinement at an affordable price.’
    • ‘During a search of the vehicle police found a .357 magnum revolver and four rounds of ammunition.’
    • ‘The rifle propped with the safety on was a scoped 7mm magnum, too much gun for Central Texas but an old Brush Country favorite that had not seen service in several years.’
    • ‘The new trendy short magnums and spiffy projectiles do not in fact compensate for poor marksmanship any more than long barrels necessarily equate to better accuracy.’
    • ‘One of the universal observations by shooters who have fired the short magnums is their surprisingly mild recoil compared to standard magnums.’
    • ‘It's the strongest and the easiest-to-shoot magnum available to handgunners.’
    • ‘They pack a .44 magnum revolver to guard against polar bears.’
    • ‘He tossed Deputy Jones the magnum and reloaded the shotgun.’
    • ‘Then came the magnum era, and people wanted a lightweight, handy rifle to go with their new magnum revolvers.’
    • ‘I halted abruptly in front of the horridly painted blue house, threw Jackson my .22 and grabbed my magnum, loading the revolver with six shots.’
    • ‘First there were double rifle big bore magnums, then long-action belted mags, and now short action, and super short-action mags.’
    • ‘I know the rifle and ammunition companies are forever trying to sell you things from short magnums to ultra magnums.’


Late 18th century: from Latin, neuter (used as a noun) of magnus great.