mastermind

noun
mas·​ter·​mind | \ ˈma-stər-ˌmīnd How to pronounce mastermind (audio) , ˌmas-tər-ˈ\

Definition of mastermind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who supplies the directing or creative intelligence for a project

mastermind

verb
masterminded; masterminding; masterminds

Definition of mastermind (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to be the mastermind of

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of mastermind in a Sentence

Noun

the mastermind behind the terrorist plot the real mastermind behind the embezzlement scheme

Verb

They masterminded a unique solution to the problem. He masterminded the bank robbery.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The climax is usually some kind of cooking challenge in which Ramsay pits himself against a local chef (such as Virgilio Martínez, the Peruvian mastermind behind Central, No. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "With ‘Uncharted,’ Gordon Ramsay proves he’s indeed no Anthony Bourdain. At least not yet.," 19 July 2019 The chef and mastermind behind the pie served at The Parlor in Dobbs Ferry, New York, cut slices with scissors. Htv National Desk, Houston Chronicle, "Have you been cutting pizza wrong your entire life? Some chefs say yes.," 19 July 2019 One-fourth of the creative force behind Fat Tiger Workshop, alongside friends Joe Freshgoods, Des Owusu and Victor Pitre, and the mastermind behind Vita Worldwide, designer Rello makes clothes that explicitly rep Chicago. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "4 local designers selected as ‘Brands to Watch’ for ComplexCon’s Chicago debut," 18 July 2019 Twitter user @GPerez1996 was the original mastermind behind this fascinating location theory, which has since been translated by many other accounts across various social media platforms. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "'Stranger Things' Fans Have a Wild Hopper Theory After Watching Season 3," 16 July 2019 The government’s explanation for the split verdict is that the jury found Mr. Shkreli was the sole mastermind behind the schemes and didn’t conspire with others to defraud investors. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "On Appeal, Martin Shkreli’s Lawyers Ask Judges to Toss Conviction," 28 June 2019 The alleged mastermind in the shooting of former baseball star David Ortiz has been detained, the Dominican Republic attorney general's office confirmed to CBS News Friday. CBS News, "Alleged mastermind in David Ortiz shooting arrested," 28 June 2019 Taylor Swift is the mastermind of subliminal messages. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Announces A Forthcoming Fashion Collaboration With Designer Stella McCartney," 14 June 2019 Defense lawyers for the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and others argued that the death penalty should be dropped from consideration, or the case dropped altogether, saying Trump's past tweets could influence the jury. Fox News, "Trump tweets about Bergdahl, alleged NYC attacker could affect case against alleged 9/11 conspirators, lawyers argue," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In early 1867, Stevens masterminded bold new laws to curb the president’s powers. Erick Trickey, Washington Post, "‘Kill the beast’: The impeachment trial that nearly took down a president 150 years ago," 16 May 2018 With his six co-conspirators, Rivas masterminded the plan to overpower a supervisor and tie up civilian workers as hostages. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date," 24 May 2018 Two American senators, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, masterminded the legislation which helped neutralise the residual threat from the Soviet weapons of mass destruction (WMD): chemical and biological as well as nuclear. The Economist, "North Korea presents nuclear disarmament’s biggest challenge yet," 5 July 2018 Croatia’s defense was at times overwhelmed by a spirited Hungary team, conceding one goal to a fine passing move masterminded by Balazs Dzsudzsak, and the other after panicky set-piece defending. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "World Cup role reversal as Germany wins, Croatia struggles," 24 Mar. 2019 Several political supporters of Mr. Rouhani say that the first protest in the city of Mashhad was actually masterminded by the hard-liners, in an attempt to discredit the government. Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times, "Iran Can’t Keep Dictating Lifestyle, Its President Warns," 8 Jan. 2018 But in the blossoming of Lagerfeld’s celebrity—if not his rebirth as a Parisian—nothing has the weight of his masterminding fashions at Chanel. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 Schmeets is on the government's lengthy witness list, as is Lavrick Willocks, who authorities said masterminded the scam. Fox News, "Last defendant in Jamaican lottery scam case going to trial," 9 Sep. 2018 The stylist turned interior designer masterminded goop’s Chicago pop-up, and the sumptuous yet pared-back interiors of the Talbott Hotel, among other projects. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "11 Simple Home Updates to Make This Year," 7 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mastermind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mastermind

Noun

1872, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1927, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mastermind

Statistics for mastermind

Last Updated

23 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mastermind

The first known use of mastermind was in 1872

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mastermind

mastermind

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mastermind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who plans and organizes something

mastermind

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mastermind (Entry 2 of 2)

: to plan and organize (something) : to be the mastermind of (something)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mastermind

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

WORD OF THE DAY

something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!