master

noun
mas·​ter | \ ˈma-stər How to pronounce master (audio) \

Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : a male teacher
(2) : a person holding an academic degree higher than a bachelor's but lower than a doctor's also : the degree itself
b often capitalized : a revered religious leader
c : a worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices — compare apprentice entry 1 sense 1b, journeyman sense 1
d(1) : an artist, performer, or player of consummate (see consummate entry 1 sense 1) skill
(2) : a great figure of the past (as in science or art) whose work serves as a model or ideal
2a : one having authority over another : ruler, governor This decisive battle left him master of Europe.
b : one that conquers or masters : victor, superior in the new challenger the champion found his master
c : a person licensed to command a merchant ship
d(1) : one having control proved himself master of the situation
(2) : an owner especially of a slave or animal
e : the employer especially of a servant
f(1) dialect : husband
(2) : the male head of a household
3a(1) archaic : mr.
(2) : a youth or boy too young to be called mister used as a title
b : the eldest son of a Scottish viscount or baron (see baron sense 2a)
4a : a presiding (see preside sense 2) officer in an institution or society (such as a college)
b : any of several officers of court appointed to assist (as by hearing and reporting) a judge
5a : a master mechanism (see mechanism sense 1) or device
b : an original from which copies can be made especially : a master recording (such as a magnetic tape)

master

adjective

Definition of master (Entry 2 of 3)

: being or relating to a master: such as
a : having chief authority : dominant
b : skilled, proficient a prosperous master builderCurrent Biography
d : superlative often used in combination a master-liar
e : being a device or mechanism that controls the operation of another mechanism or that establishes a standard (such as a dimension or weight)
f : being or relating to a master from which duplicates are made

master

verb
mastered; mastering\ ˈma-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce mastering (audio) \

Definition of master (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to become master of : overcome mastered his fears
2a : to become skilled or proficient in the use of master a foreign language
b : to gain a thorough understanding of had mastered every aspect of publishingCurrent Biography
3 : to produce a master recording of (something, such as a musical rendition)

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Other Words from master

Noun

mastership \ ˈma-​stər-​ˌship How to pronounce mastership (audio) \ noun

Examples of master in a Sentence

Noun

As a slave he was required to do his master's bidding without question. The dog was always obedient to its master. the master and mistress of the house She is a master of her craft.

Adjective

thought of themselves as belonging to humanity's master race a master craftsman who makes fine wood furniture of his own designs

Verb

She mastered French in college. He is determined to master every aspect of the business.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On a cumulative basis, women have earned 13 million more college degrees than men at all levels (associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees) over the last 36 years. James Freeman, WSJ, "No Men Allowed," 22 Feb. 2019 According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Shell earned a master’s of architecture from Columbia University before working with Mies in Chicago. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Directed by James Wan — the master of high-octane nightmare fuel like Insidious, The Conjuring and Saw — Aquaman contains moments of pure joy, stylish fight-sequence hairography, and unabashed fidelity to cheese and fantasy. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 2018 The five-piece set retails for $395 together, but each piece can also be bought individually (starting at $45), so that everyone from the new-and-nervous home cook to the at-home culinary master can enjoy. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "Great Jones Cofounders Sierra Tishgart and Maddy Moelis Share Their Path to Entrepreneurship," 13 Nov. 2018 The laundry room and five of the home's six bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master suite and two children's rooms connected by a jack-and-jill bathroom. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: This six-bedroom home in Carmel's West Clay could be yours for $950,000," 6 July 2018 Four upper level ensuite bedrooms include a luxurious master suite with dual bathrooms, showroom closets and a private patio. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "LeBron James' Los Angeles mansion fit for a king," 3 July 2018 Laura Tempesta, a bra expert with a master’s degree in lingerie design and the founder of Bravolution, tells Teen Vogue. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Why You Don't Have to Wear a Bra," 30 Nov. 2018 Also sponsors a master’s degree in public leadership specifically for members of the military community, at the University of San Francisco. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Thank You For Your Service. Now What?," 17 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Is Keaton physically hunky enough to play the master CIA death machine? Michael Heaton, cleveland.com, "'American Assassin' is fast and furious fun (review)," 15 Sep. 2017 Refugees need not master German before applying, though they will be required to learn it while studying there. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "How do refugee students make the jump to Germany's universities?," 24 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Below, 14 products to master the art of Basel beauty. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "14 Art Basel Beauty Staples for a Sunnier State of Mind," 6 Dec. 2018 Haven't mastered the science of packing a suit yet? Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Garment Bags for Travelers," 26 Sep. 2018 Any organization that can’t master Twitter figured to be in over its head in this offseason during which kings are crowned and championships are constructed. Bob Ford, Philly.com, "Sixers can trade for Kawhi Leonard? Apparently, LeBron James doesn't think so | Bob Ford," 2 July 2018 Of course, the body cannot really be mastered this way. Gabriel Winant, The New Republic, "Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement," 23 May 2018 But Page had not mastered his lines by Monday night’s performance, more than a week into the run. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "Lines get crossed in Flat Earth’s muddled ‘Antigone’," 28 Mar. 2018 But if Houston and Ford get nicked up and Kpassagnon still hasn't mastered the mental side of the game (or the intricacies of holding the edge), the Chiefs could be in trouble here. Terez A. Paylor, kansascity, "Five positions the Chiefs could upgrade before the 2018 season | The Kansas City Star," 26 Mar. 2018 Since eye makeup can be the hardest to master, Woosh has several genius products that make the process seamless. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "Zip Through Your Morning Makeup Routine With These Time-Saving Woosh Beauty Products," 14 Jan. 2019 The triple and quadruple jumps required to win an Olympic medal are so difficult that many top junior skaters never master them. Anchorage Daily News, "Five myths about figure skating," 9 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'master.' 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 master

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adjective

12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for master

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English magister & Anglo-French meistre, both from Latin magister; akin to Latin magnus large — more at much

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Statistics for master

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for master

The first known use of master was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for master

master

noun

English Language Learners Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: someone (especially a man) who has a servant or slave
: someone (especially a man) who owns a pet (such as a dog)
formal : the male head of a household

master

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of master (Entry 2 of 3)

: highly skilled
: largest or most important
used to describe an original version from which other copies can be made

master

verb

English Language Learners Definition of master (Entry 3 of 3)

: to succeed in controlling (something, such as an emotion)
: to learn (something) completely : to get the knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand (something) very well

master

noun
mas·​ter | \ ˈma-stər How to pronounce master (audio) \

Kids Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : someone having authority over another person, an animal, or a thing the slave's master the master of a ship
2 : a male teacher
3 : an artist or performer of great skill He is a master at making desserts.
4 used as a title for a young boy too young to be called mister Master Timothy Roe

master

verb
mastered; mastering

Kids Definition of master (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get control of You must master your fear.
2 : to become skillful at I managed to master arithmetic.

master

noun
mas·​ter

Legal Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an individual or entity (as a corporation) having control or authority over another: as
a : the owner of a slave
b : employer — compare servant
2 : an officer of the court appointed (as under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53) to assist a judge in a particular case by hearing and reporting on the case, sometimes by making findings of fact and conclusions of law, and by performing various related functions

Note: Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a master may be a magistrate or else may be a person with some special expertise in the matter. The word master as used in the Federal Rules encompasses a referee, an auditor, an examiner, and an assessor. If the master makes findings of fact, they are reviewable de novo by the court except when the parties have stipulated that the findings will be reviewed for clear error or that the master's findings are to be final.

master

adjective

Legal Definition of master (Entry 2 of 2)

: being the principal or controlling one : governing a number of subordinate like things a master insurance policy

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More from Merriam-Webster on master

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with master

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for master

Spanish Central: Translation of master

Nglish: Translation of master for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of master for Arabic Speakers

Comments on master

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