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

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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

Ian Anderson, the longtime mastermind behind English rockers Jethro Tull, has a reputation of being tough and prickly in interviews, sometimes bordering on intimidating. Steve Morse, BostonGlobe.com, "Ian Anderson on 50 years of Jethro Tull, tinny Garden acoustics, and never being too old to rock and roll," 5 Sep. 2019 The masterminds behind UnderTow tiki bar ran the space inside Roosevelt Row’s shipping container development, The Churchill. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "Pizza, poke and steak: These 12 restaurants opened in metro Phoenix in August," 2 Sep. 2019 The mastermind behind Ortiz's shooting, Victor Hugo Gomez, was arrested in June. Emily Caron, SI.com, "Report: David Ortiz Released From Massachusetts General Hospital," 27 July 2019 Prosecutors said that McIntyre, now 19, was the mastermind behind the robbery, organizing it and recruiting the man who ultimately shot and killed Walker. Fox News, "Rapper Tay-K sentenced to 55 years in prison for murder of Texas man, 21," 24 July 2019 The mastermind behind Bayern Munich’s 2013 treble winning side, arguably the most complete European club outfit of the 21st century. Ben Carter, SI.com, "The 50 Greatest Football Managers of All Time," 20 Aug. 2019 Hairstylist Akki Shirakawa is the mastermind behind this look, and Shirakawa has also gifted us with many of Lady Gaga's best hair looks, including her cover for the 2014 Harper's Bazaar September issue. Amanda Mitchell, Allure, "Celine Dion Is Single-Handedly Bringing Back the Bowl Cut," 2 Aug. 2019 Kerri and her husband, Andy, are the masterminds behind the traveling Philly Yard Bar. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Company Will Bring a 40-Person Pop-Up Bar to Your Backyard Party," 1 July 2019 The suspects, Glenn Wright, 42, the bridge player described as the crime’s mastermind, and Orland Tolden, 26, both of Houston, and Dennis Moss, 27, of Cocoa, Fla., were convicted of the kidnapping and sentenced to long prison terms. Robert D. Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "George Rosenkranz, a developer of the birth control pill, dies at 102," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Witnesses said Sherra Wright masterminded a plan to have two men kill Lorenzen Wright at his home in Atlanta, but that attempt failed, according to an affidavit. Time, "Ex-Wife of Slain NBA Player Lorenzen Wright Pleads Guilty to Plotting His 2010 Death," 25 July 2019 Witnesses said Sherra Wright masterminded a plan to have two men kill Lorenzen Wright at his home in Atlanta, but that attempt failed, according to an affidavit. Adrian Sainz, The Denver Post, "Ex-wife of slain former NBA player Lorenzen Wright pleads guilty," 25 July 2019 Witnesses said Sherra Wright masterminded a plan to have two men kill Lorenzen Wright at his home in Atlanta, but that attempt failed, according to an affidavit. CBS News, "Ex-wife pleads guilty in slaying of NBA star Lorenzen Wright," 25 July 2019 His cell in the infamous prison was once home to the late political leader Hassan Abdallah al-Turabi, who masterminded the 1989 coup that put Bashir in power before the two later fell out with each other. CNN, "The ex-Sudanese president's cronies tried to break him out of jail ahead of his trial," 19 Aug. 2019 The plan, which acts like a budget for the city’s limited water and sewer resources from 2018 to 2024, was largely masterminded by Bill Mackey, who left his city position Friday, Aug. 16. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster council OKs water policy amendment, bids fond farewell to planning director," 16 Aug. 2019 Darin Schilmiller, the 21-year-old Indiana man accused of masterminding a plot to kill a developmentally disabled Anchorage woman in June, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the federal child pornography charges that linked him to the slaying. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Indiana man accused of masterminding Cynthia Hoffman killing pleads not guilty to child porn charges," 8 Aug. 2019 The English writer-performer masterminded two shows that give voice to exceptionally entertaining women while collectively picking up 20 Emmy nominations along the way. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "Women Creators Are Stealing the Spotlight on TV," 5 Aug. 2019 Cameramen film the scene as Charles Manson is brought into the Los Angeles city jail under suspicion of having masterminded the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969. Alejandro De La Garza, Time, "The True Story Behind Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," 26 July 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.

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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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Statistics for mastermind

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on mastermind

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