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 Game 2 masterpiece, the pitching feels too unsettled for a pennant favorite. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB playoffs: Which teams have the clearest path to a title? Ranking contenders 1-8," 5 Oct. 2020 Netflix inflates Crowley’s subculture curio, insisting that it be given the same dominant culture reverence as Albee’s masterpiece. Armond White, National Review, "A Segregated, Modernized Boys in the Band," 2 Oct. 2020 With its rounded balcony, lush topiaries, and Colonial-style windows, the property has always been an architectural masterpiece. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Mansion Will Be Available on Airbnb for Five Nights Next Month," 14 Sep. 2020 Eternal Sunshine, Kaufman's masterpiece, centers on the same topic and argues the journey of falling in love is worth traversing through even if the ultimate destination is a tragic ending more often that not. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "I’m Thinking of Ending Things," 7 Sep. 2020 This is the difference between a creation that is useful or functional and one that is a masterpiece. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for September 7, 2020," 7 Sep. 2020 My kids have swum in so many—from Dorothy Draper's maximalist indoor masterpiece at the Greenbrier in West Virginia to the sky-high lap lanes of the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Enduring Appeal of a Good Hotel Pool," 13 Aug. 2020 Toward the end of Au Hasard Balthazar, Robert Bresson’s 1966 masterpiece, the long-suffering donkey of the film’s title falls into the clutches of a grain merchant. Ryan Ruby, The New York Review of Books, "Pierre Klossowski, Brilliant Brother of Balthus," 8 Aug. 2020 By eliminating the April timeframe, Olson and his colleagues finally homed in on a new date and time for Vermeer’s masterpiece: around 8 a.m. on September 3 or 4, 1659 (or the year prior). Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Astronomy Offers Fresh Look at Vermeer’s ‘View of Delft’," 28 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for masterpiece

Time Traveler

The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

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Statistics for masterpiece

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Masterpiece.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for masterpiece


How to pronounce masterpiece (audio)

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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