mag·​is·​te·​ri·​al | \ ˌma-jə-ˈstir-ē-əl How to pronounce magisterial (audio) \

Definition of magisterial

1a(1) : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a master or teacher : authoritative
(2) : marked by an overbearingly dignified or assured manner or aspect
b : of, relating to, or required for a master's degree
2 : of or relating to a magistrate or a magistrate's office or duties

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Other Words from magisterial

magisterially \ ˌma-​jə-​ˈstir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce magisterially (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for magisterial

dictatorial, magisterial, dogmatic, doctrinaire, oracular mean imposing one's will or opinions on others. dictatorial stresses autocratic, high-handed methods and a domineering manner. exercised dictatorial control over the office magisterial stresses assumption or use of prerogatives appropriate to a magistrate or schoolmaster in forcing acceptance of one's opinions. the magisterial tone of his pronouncements dogmatic implies being unduly and offensively positive in laying down principles and expressing opinions. dogmatic about what is art and what is not doctrinaire implies a disposition to follow abstract theories in framing laws or policies affecting people. a doctrinaire approach to improving the economy oracular implies the manner of one who delivers opinions in cryptic phrases or with pompous dogmatism. a designer who is the oracular voice of fashion

Examples of magisterial in a Sentence

He spoke with a magisterial tone. a magisterial biography of Thomas Jefferson that has never been superseded

Recent Examples on the Web

But then the song thickens up in its fourth minute with bleary, magisterial piano, and Yorke switches his vocal approach. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Thom Yorke’s Beautiful New Nightmare," 29 June 2019 Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s magisterial first novel Kintu continually diverts us from our preconceptions about Africa. The New York Review of Books, "Namwali Serpell," 2 Mar. 2019 Ostensibly magisterial international triumphs for the United States have repeatedly turned out to be pyrrhic victories that transformed into grave and even existential threats as people at home and abroad rushed to adapt. Caitlin Fitz, WSJ, "‘A Nation Forged by Crisis’ Review: Part of the Wider World After All," 30 Nov. 2018 Ruest also replaced the magisterial district judge who had twice thrown out charges. Washington Post, "Sprawling Penn State hazing death case grinds through courts," 8 July 2018 But what was striking was not just his message, of love and inclusion; or his tone, which was soaring and magisterial; or his obvious delight in the matter at hand. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Meghan Markle Introduces the British Monarchy to the African-American Experience," 19 May 2018 LitHub has the full essay: A work of art has a magisterial quality about it, a justifying élan which grants virtue to imitation. Constance Grady, Vox, "Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess: “art is dangerous”," 2 June 2018 The science of botany and the art of storytelling merge to ingenious effect in Powers’s magisterial new novel — a story in which people are merely the underbrush and the real protagonists are the trees that the human characters encounter. New York Times, "11 New Books We Recommend This Week," 19 Apr. 2018 Both novels celebrate an Eleanor Roosevelt who is warm and affectionate, not some humorless do-gooder, and acknowledge their debt to Blanche Wiesen Cook’s magisterial three-volume biography of the first lady. Sylvia Brownrigg, New York Times, "Eleanor Roosevelt’s Love Life, as Fodder for Fiction," 15 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magisterial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of magisterial

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for magisterial

Late Latin magisterialis of authority, from magisterium office of a master, from magister

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Statistics for magisterial

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for magisterial

The first known use of magisterial was in 1632

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More Definitions for magisterial



English Language Learners Definition of magisterial

formal : showing impressive knowledge about a subject
formal : having the confident quality of someone who expects to be obeyed by other people
: of or relating to a magistrate

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More from Merriam-Webster on magisterial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with magisterial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for magisterial

Britannica English: Translation of magisterial for Arabic Speakers

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