adjective mag·is·te·ri·al \ ˌma-jə-ˈstir-ē-əl \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of magisterial

1 a (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


play \-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of magisterial in a Sentence

  1. He spoke with a magisterial tone.

  2. a magisterial biography of Thomas Jefferson that has never been superseded

Recent Examples of magisterial from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of magisterial

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

MAGISTERIAL Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of magisterial for English Language Learners

  • : showing impressive knowledge about a subject

  • : having the confident quality of someone who expects to be obeyed by other people

  • : of or relating to a magistrate

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to beat or defeat soundly

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