mas·​tery | \ ˈma-st(ə-)rē How to pronounce mastery (audio) \

Definition of mastery

1a : the authority of a master : dominion
b : the upper hand in a contest or competition : superiority, ascendancy
2a : possession or display of great skill or technique
b : skill or knowledge that makes one master of a subject : command

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Examples of mastery in a Sentence

We were impressed by her mastery of the subject. She achieved a complete mastery of French. He struggled to gain mastery of his fears.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Scorsese, by contrast, is the consummate industrial artist, whose vast inspirations are inseparable from his mastery of the elaborate techniques—and the administrative and bureaucratic complexities—that come with making major studio films. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Review: Jonas Mekas’s Illuminating Documentary of Martin Scorsese on the Set of “The Departed”," 3 Sep. 2019 Matt Chapman waited until Fiers was out of the game to show off his defensive mastery for the small Kauffman Stadium crowd. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "‘Nights like that is why you have a guy like him’: Mike Fiers solidifies role as most consistent Athletics starter in win over Kansas City," 27 Aug. 2019 The buzz: Dantonio is James Franklin’s nemesis, and Lewerke continues his mastery over the Nittany Lions for a third straight season. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football 2019 game-by-game predictions," 25 Aug. 2019 Egypt Israel Jordan syria Iraq 3 Agriculture begins, circa 9500 B.C. Jordan Yamnaya Saudi Arabia Their mastery of horses and wagons introduced a new mobile lifestyle to Europe. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, "The first Europeans weren’t who you might think," 12 July 2019 Underground Railroad author Colson Whitehead is on the cover of Time magazine this week, making him the first writer on the cover since Jonathan Franzen in 2010: Whitehead has proved his mastery over his craft. Constance Grady, Vox, "Romance novelists speak out on the harassment they face online," 29 June 2019 Unfortunately, the architects’ mastery of light, space and scale is not matched in this show’s 41 drawings, made from 1954 to 2016. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘The Condition of Being Here: Drawings by Jasper Johns’ Review: Willfully Obtuse," 12 Nov. 2018 Continuing the Dodgers’ mastery, Tony Watson threw up a perfect frame in the eighth. Dennis Lin,, "Lamet impresses, but Kershaw dominates in shutout," 1 Sep. 2017 Busey's frontal lobe damage, which made him more impulsive and prone to anger and delusions of grandeur, also impacted his creative mastery — his ability to compose music. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Gary Busey, Set to Play God, Believes "There Is No Death"," 22 Aug. 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mastery

Middle English maistrie, from Anglo-French mestrie, maistrie, from meistre master

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Statistics for mastery

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for mastery

The first known use of mastery was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for mastery



English Language Learners Definition of mastery

: knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well
: complete control of something


mas·​tery | \ ˈma-stə-rē How to pronounce mastery (audio) \

Kids Definition of mastery

1 : complete control The wrestler gained mastery over all of his opponents.
2 : a very high level of skill or knowledge He achieved a complete mastery of the language.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mastery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mastery

Spanish Central: Translation of mastery

Nglish: Translation of mastery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mastery for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mastery

What made you want to look up mastery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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