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 a magisterial biography of Thomas Jefferson that has never been superseded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 This proposal is as intriguing as the disquisitions in Godard’s poetic lecture-collage films The Image Book, Film Socialisme, and the magisterial Histoire(s) du Cinéma. Armond White, National Review, "Godard Speaks on Cinematic and Scientific Viruses," 1 May 2020 Janet Browne’s magisterial two-volume life would be included; so would David Dobbs’s Reef Madness, about Darwin’s theory of the formation of coral atolls, and a handful of books on the Scopes trial. David Quammen, The New York Review of Books, "The Brilliant Plodder," 8 Apr. 2020 Roberts has so far played only a magisterial role in the proceedings. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "John Roberts will celebrate his 65th birthday presiding over Trump’s impeachment trial," 27 Jan. 2020 Yet Roberts seemed to start in high spirits, handling the high court’s morning administration extra graciously, as if practicing for the long hours of purely tedious magisterial duties ahead at the Senate. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Keeping up with impeachment and SCOTUS chief John Roberts," 22 Jan. 2020 While remaining as fiery as ever, Sanders had developed an interest in soaring, magisterial melodies, and the rhythms of his recordings, while dense and multi-layered, often hewed toward a steady groove. Nathaniel Friedman, The New Yorker, "“If You’re in the Song, Keep on Playing”: An Interview With Pharoah Sanders," 12 Jan. 2020 Welles’s filmography is magisterial (far too weak a word) and eventually all too wayward. Mark Feeney,, "O for Orson: Welles as documentary subject and maker," 13 June 2019 As the movement progressed, the interpretation took on an epic scale, the basses growling, the upper strings magisterial in fugal passages. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: Muti launches an epic Beethoven symphonies cycle before a packed Orchestra Hall," 27 Sep. 2019 For instance, Allan Brandt’s brilliant The Cigarette Century recounted the cigarette companies’ remarkable duplicity; Richard Kluger’s magisterial Ashes to Ashes charted the tobacco wars with a novelist’s flair. Scott W. Stern, The New Republic, "How War Made the Cigarette," 25 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for magisterial

Time Traveler

The first known use of magisterial was in 1632

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Statistics for magisterial

Last Updated

6 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Magisterial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for magisterial


How to pronounce magisterial (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for magisterial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with magisterial

Britannica English: Translation of magisterial for Arabic Speakers

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