mas·​ter·​piece | \ ˈma-stər-ˌpēs How to pronounce masterpiece (audio) \

Definition of masterpiece

1 : a work done with extraordinary skill especially : a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement
2 : a piece of work presented to a medieval guild as evidence of qualification for the rank of master

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

So where did Callahan place this devastating little masterpiece in Sunday night’s set list? Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Bill Callahan found domestic bliss. Then he wrote the great apocalypse ballad of 2019.," 15 July 2019 With flowing robes, gems for eyes and regal poise, this masterpiece by an unknown artist embodies the mystery of Delphic lore. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "Voyage to the Center of the World," 9 July 2019 Brokeback Mountain It’s still nothing short of insane that this bona fide masterpiece lost best picture to Crash at the 2006 Oscars, but at least the Academy got this one right: Gustavo Santaolalla took home the trophy for best original score. Aly Semigran, Billboard, "15 Essential Soundtracks From LGBTQ Movies," 4 June 2019 Our story didn’t mention who helped Pete write this latest masterpiece. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: I don't like the NFL Draft. Here's why the MLB Draft is even worse.," 4 June 2019 Yet the names of those who first constructed this masterpiece are lost to history. Andrew Tallon, National Geographic, "Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals," 16 Apr. 2019 Featuring Jim Carrey, this Christmas masterpiece transforms the literary world of Dr. Seuss into a live-action film. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "The Best Christmas Movies to Watch According to Your Zodiac Sign," 26 Nov. 2018 Can a debut novel be a masterpiece of cultural criticism? Michele Langevine Leiby,, "In ‘The Gone Dead,’ a woman’s questions about her father’s death reveal a town’s racist history," 17 July 2019 Historians say Douglass' pre-Emancipation diatribe — more than 9,800 words in length — is a masterpiece of persuasion. Dallas News, "Frederick Douglass speech raises question: Should African-Americans celebrate the Fourth of July?," 2 July 2019

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

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for masterpiece

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for masterpiece

The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

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More Definitions for masterpiece



English Language Learners Definition of masterpiece

: a great book, painting, piece of music, movie, etc. also : the best book, painting, piece of music, movie, etc., by a particular person
: something done with great skill


mas·​ter·​piece | \ ˈma-stər-ˌpēs How to pronounce masterpiece (audio) \

Kids Definition of masterpiece

: something done or made with exceptional skill

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Comments on masterpiece

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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