mas·​ter·​piece | \ ˈmas-tər-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

The Best Picture Oscar-winner of 2018, Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece is a sort of fairytale for grown-ups, about a mute woman named Eliza who works at a government facility in the 1960s. Marie Claire, "The 17 Best Movies on HBO Go to Watch Right Now," 28 Feb. 2019 Talks of the movie being Cuarón’s masterpiece were starting to circulate, as well as questions about the woman at the center of this very personal film—who was she, and how did Cuarón find her? Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Yalitza Aparicio on Roma's Significance: "This Film Is An Opportunity to Make People Reflect"," 24 Feb. 2019 Hegel’s observations have in turn become central to French literary culture, yet Mr. Curran, for all his dexterity with publication history, doesn’t examine the posthumous fate of this masterpiece. Dan Hofstadter, WSJ, "‘Diderot’ Review: Wherever His Mind Led Him," 15 Feb. 2019 Forget Finding Nemo, this is writer-director Andrew Stanton’s Pixar masterpiece. . Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 And that is precisely where this conversation with lead vocalist/guitarist Newman and bassist Graham Lewis about the release of these definitive editions of three art/pop/punk masterpieces kicks off. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Wire Looks Back on Its Pioneering Art Punk Trilogy," 21 June 2018 This past week was a kind of masterpiece in delusion. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show," 15 June 2018 Production of Verdi’s masterpiece marks Cincinnati Opera’s return to Music Hall. Rasputin Todd,, "Things to do this week in Cincinnati: June 11-17," 11 June 2018 On this day in 1904, Leopold Bloom walked the streets of Dublin in James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses. John Timpane,, "Summer literary events: Readings, appearances, poetry," 6 June 2018

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

4 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for masterpiece

The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

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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).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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