mastermind

noun
mas·ter·mind | \ˈmas-tər-ˌmīnd, 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Below, read on for the products that seven of QVC's masterminds can't live without. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "The One Beauty Product QVC Hosts Can't Live Without," 11 July 2018 Balda's attorney is accusing Correa of being the mastermind behind the crime, though the former president has not been charged. Gonzalo Solano, Fox News, "Ex-Ecuador president ordered jailed after missing court date," 3 July 2018 Based on the writings and other evidence found in searches, investigators now had a theory that Dorothy Maraglino was the mastermind behind Brittany's murder and Lopez was her slave. CBS News, "The search for a missing military wife takes NCIS agents into a dark world," 5 June 2018 In 1991 and 1992, a former Indiana state trooper, Clinton S. Parker Jr., was the mastermind of a series of armed robberies that netted $111,500. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Hammond armored vehicle robbery first in Indiana in 5 years," 11 May 2018 And, yes, the 29-year-old from Chicago is the mastermind behind the divisive Los Angeles painting that's simultaneously a point of contention and badge of honor for those concerned with their image on Instagram. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "You can't look at this mural unless you have 20K followers. Here's why," 28 June 2018 Credited as the mastermind of the stiletto heel in 1954, Roger Vivier’s designs infiltrated the world’s most coveted fashion shows and celebrity closets, from Ava Gardner to Queen Elizabeth II. Melania Hidalgo, The Cut, "Roger Vivier Publishes an Instagram-Inspired Book," 22 May 2018 Whether Lift is a malicious mastermind or just a kooky founder whose ambitions led him to murky ethical decisions is hardly important. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Has an Eerily Familiar Villain," 10 July 2018 At least, that’s the plan according to a recent statement from Les Claypool, this unabashedly quirky punk-funk-meets-prog-metal band’s bassist, singer and conceptual mastermind. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Primus and Mastodon to deliver doubly thunderous concert at SDSU," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Thomas Whitaker, 38, was convicted of masterminding a 2003 plot to murder his wealthy parents and 19-year-old brother for inheritance money. Tracy Connor, NBC News, "Texas death row inmate Thomas Whitaker could be spared after unusual appeal," 22 Feb. 2018 The scientific inquiry, masterminded by prominent psychologist Dr. Peter Neubauer and his Child Development Center, set out to answer the fundamental question of nature vs. nurture. Amy Kaufman, latimes.com, "The surreal, sad story behind the acclaimed new doc 'Three Identical Strangers'," 1 July 2018 The details of Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s plant-based, organic regimen have been public since 2016; since then, their diet, masterminded by personal chef Allen Campbell, has been making waves in the health community. Elizabeth Inglese, Vogue, "Eat Like a Supermodel! 5 Healthy Food Plans Behind the World’s Best Bodies," 28 June 2018 One prominent effort to do so is being masterminded from the top floor of an art-deco building in downtown San Francisco. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Marvel comics mastermind Stan Lee recently said only one man can be trusted to truly represent him, and that man has now been arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Stan Lee's business manager arrested on suspicion of filing a fake police report," 13 June 2018 Former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez masterminded Newcastle's return to the Premier League following his appointment in 2016. SI.com, "Trouble Looms for Newcastle as Mike Ashley Demands Rafael Benitez Signs New Deal," 7 June 2018 The government argued that security threats from a movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup, haven’t abated. Time, "President Erdogan Surprises Turkey With a Snap Election Slated for June," 19 Apr. 2018 Twenty-three years later, on July 6th, Shoko Asahara, the bearded guru who masterminded this atrocity, was hanged, along with six accomplices. The Economist, "On the hanging of Shoko Asahara, Japan’s nerve-gas guru," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of mastermind

Noun

1872, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for mastermind

The first known use of mastermind was in 1872

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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)

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