mas·​ter·​piece ˈma-stər-ˌpēs How to pronounce masterpiece (audio)
: a work done with extraordinary skill
especially : a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement
: a piece of work presented to a medieval guild as evidence of qualification for the rank of master

Examples of masterpiece in a Sentence

The painting was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Herman Melville's masterpiece was Moby-Dick. Her study of apes is a masterpiece.
Recent Examples on the Web One of his favorite stories is about Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, Antonio Canova’s 1793 neoclassical masterpiece that sits in the Louvre. Elaine Sciolino, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2023 Here's hoping this very personal masterpiece is allowed to remain in the public realm. Guy Martin, Forbes, 27 Nov. 2023 Entertainment Score: 3 Science Score: 0 12 Monkeys (1995) Enlarge / Cinematic time travel came of age with Terry Gilliam's sci-fi masterpiece. Jennifer Ouellette and Sean M. Carroll, Ars Technica, 24 Nov. 2023 Bullard’s third book is a whirlwind tour through their glamorous abodes as well as his own dazzling retreats — a sprawling Hollywood Hills home that once belonged to Dennis Hopper, a mid–century masterpiece in Palm Springs and a modernist aerie on the Baja peninsula overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Abigail Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 With its bold use of modern pop music to bring vibrancy to a story set in 18th century France, the film has been reclaimed in subsequent years and is now seen by many as Coppola’s masterpiece for its examination of the expectations put upon young women, even royal ones. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 The whole world of Elizabethan espionage is brought to blazing life in this true-crime masterpiece. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 Herbie Hancock 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Herbie Hancock’s influential masterpiece Headhunters, which intricately wove jazz and funk and redefined the genre while becoming the first jazz album to go platinum. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 9 Nov. 2023 The musical by Grammy Award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and Cuban Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz is a dreamy magic-realist masterpiece sung in Spanish with subtitles in both English and Spanish. Kamren Curiel, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'masterpiece.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near masterpiece

Cite this Entry

“Masterpiece.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mas·​ter·​piece ˈmas-tər-ˌpēs How to pronounce masterpiece (audio)
: a work done with great skill
especially : a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement

More from Merriam-Webster on masterpiece

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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