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

When the wind sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime, as when some master-hand exulting sweeps the keys of some great organ, ye give forth the music of the woodland depths, a hymn of gladness and of thanks. courant.com, "Sunday’s forecast: seek out some shade," 14 July 2019 Prosecutors say Almena, the master tenant of the warehouse, allowed dozens of people to illegally live in the unsanctioned artists’ utopia and ignored warnings that the space was a tinderbox. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Ghost Ship trial: Prosecutors use defendant’s words against him," 11 July 2019 In ancient China, where the game originated, Go was considered one of the four essential arts a scholar needed to master. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A New A.I. Is Running the Table Against Poker Pros. Is Business Strategy Next?," 11 July 2019 In his long and fruitful stint at Milan, Marco van Basten was a true penalty master for the Rossoneri. SI.com, "The 50 Best Penalty Takers in Football History," 11 July 2019 The contemporary home has four and one-half baths, a large master wing with fireplace and Italkraft closet, a home office and bar. Robyn A. Friedman, sun-sentinel.com, "Former Dolphin Andre Branch lists ‘Tree House’ bachelor pad in Fort Lauderdale," 11 July 2019 None other than James Holzhauer, the strategic master who earned $2,464,216 on the show over the course of 33 games and more than 1,100 correct answers. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "John Wick's Writer Is Heading to Marvel's Falcon & Winter Soldier," 11 July 2019 Kids can also enjoy scavenger hunts with the master gardeners while parents learn from horticulture experts on topics such as the art of growing blueberries. Brian Sodoma, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "There’s something for everyone at the Wisconsin State Fair," 11 July 2019 Mysterio is a classic Spider-Man villain who, in the comic books, is a master of illusion and deception and really cannot be trusted. Allegra Frank, Vox, "After Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU multiverse remains unclear.," 11 July 2019

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

According to the Verge’s James Vincent, Pluribus—a surprisingly low-cost A.I. trained with less than $150 worth of cloud computing resources—further mastered poker strategy by playing against copies of itself and learning through trial and error. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This Poker-Playing A.I. Knows When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em," 16 July 2019 Atletico have a history of developing young players, with the aforementioned Griezmann mastering their craft at the club alongside the likes of Jan Oblak and José Giménez. SI.com, "Joao Felix Joins Atletico Madrid in €126M Transfer From Benfica," 3 July 2019 Edge out the competition by mastering Excel with the Ultimate Microsoft Excel Certification Training Bundle for just $34 — over 95% off its usual price for a limited time. NBC News, "Don't know Microsoft Excel? This bundle will help you master it," 1 July 2019 But the brouhaha over Hindi shows how the south still dances to a different tune, one the BJP has not yet mastered. The Economist, "Why India’s south confounds the otherwise all-conquering Narendra Modi," 21 June 2019 With her mom Joanne as her dance teacher, GiaNina grew up in the studio, mastering the craft to become a gifted performer and dancer. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "'Dance Moms' Star GiaNina Paolantonio Is Already A Professional Dancer," 11 June 2019 Your words carry weight, which is why shrewd royals master the art of not saying much. Jackie Bischof, Quartz, "How to write a speech like a queen," 5 June 2019 Both are things the boys of NCT 127 surprisingly have never done as a nonet but easily mastered given their impressive execution of choreography. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Watch K-Pop Group NCT 127 Do the Wave, Wind-Blown Hair Flips, and More," 14 May 2019 As a competitive gymnast, my after-school time was spent mastering complicated tumbling passes and back tucks on the balance beam. Allison Berres, Good Housekeeping, "Breast-Reduction Surgery Made Me Feel More Sensual, Youthful, and Confident," 9 Nov. 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

17 Jul 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

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