in Barchester Towers

Chapter 18 – The Widow’s Persecution


Comes from the Latin word magnanimitas, “greatness of soul.”  Although this word in English now describes a person’s great compassion or generosity, Trollope uses its more literal meaning to denote the great-spirited Mrs. Proudie.  It is cited by the OED as having occurred in English as early as 1340.  [MD & RR 2005]

Sources:  OED.