Definition of magnum opus in English:

magnum opus

Pronunciation /ˈɒpəs//ˌmaɡnəm ˈəʊpəs/


  • A work of art, music, or literature that is regarded as the most important or best work that an artist, composer, or writer has produced.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, he was labouring mightily to bring forth his magnum opus - an epic piece of fiction he spent seven years writing.’
    • ‘Published in 1927, Being and Time is the work that made Heidegger's international reputation and is considered his magnum opus.’
    • ‘Hamilton has said she considers The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl her magnum opus.’
    • ‘In his magnum opus, volume one of Capital, Marx's methodological solution was to start with the simplest of social relations and then proceed to build them up into a more and more complex picture.’
    • ‘A central theme of his poetry, as well as of his magnum opus, the novel Doctor Zhivago, is man's destiny in revolutionary times.’
    • ‘Hayao Miyazaki is a master at creating the fantastic, and in that sense this movie is his magnum opus.’
    • ‘In 1974 he published what many regard as his magnum opus, Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence.’
    • ‘The comic version may well turn out to be the writer Alan Moore's magnum opus.’
    • ‘Habermas spent most of this decade working on what is arguably his magnum opus, the two volumes of his Theory of Communicative Action, published in 1981.’
    • ‘No one knows what Copernicus himself thought of the changes, since the first he saw of the printed version of his magnum opus was when it was delivered to him on his deathbed.’
    • ‘His magnum opus, The History of Liberty, remains scattered in thousands of boxes of notes in the library.’
    • ‘The final track, ‘Surface To Air’, clocking in at well over seven minutes long, is without doubt the magnum opus of this album.’
    • ‘Those who believe that Blake was implacably opposed to science would be surprised to read the final lines of his magnum opus, The Four Zoas.’
    • ‘Wilson continued to hone his writing skills and when the Beatles released Rubber Soul, he realised it was time to create his own magnum opus.’
    • ‘I wrote a few brass pieces, and my magnum opus, an orchestral epic called Life in C sharp, which displayed minimalist influences - lots of C sharps.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, U.S. sales of your magnum opus are inadequate to inspire the publisher to exercise those paperback rights he insisted on buying.’
    • ‘I knew this was his magnum opus, the story he had wanted to bring to the screen for 25 years.’
    • ‘Aesthetic Theory, the other magnum opus on which he had worked throughout the 1960s, appeared posthumously in 1970.’
    • ‘His own position is that of a realist in science and of an evangelical in theology, and it is the marriage of these which he seeks to consummate in his magnum opus.’
    work, work of art, achievement, production, opus, oeuvre, invention, handiwork, masterpiece, masterwork
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Late 18th century: from Latin, ‘great work’.


magnum opus

/ˈɒpəs//ˌmaɡnəm ˈəʊpəs/