mas·​ter·​piece | \ˈmas-tər-ˌpēs \

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

Selected by the main exhibition’s curator, the Nasher’s Catherine Craft, these include masterpieces by Rodin, Maillol, Matisse, Brancusi, Picasso, Calder, Giacometti, Noguchi, and Donald Judd. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘The Nature of Arp’ Review: Revolutionary Forms," 30 Oct. 2018 But Obra Dinn is a masterpiece that reveals itself very slowly. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The grisly mystery of Return of the Obra Dinn will make you obsessed," 18 Oct. 2018 Nude eye shadow also makes an excellent base to add graphic elements like winged liner, splashes of vivid color, or glitter to create a visual masterpiece on your eyelids. Allure, "The 10 Sexiest Nude Makeup Palettes," 26 Sep. 2018 Helsinki is famous for its 20th-century architecture, from its central train station, an Art Nouveau masterpiece by Eliel Saarinen, to the modernist simplicity of the Finlandia concert hall by Alvar Aalto. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Helsinki holds its own among Nordic capitals," 18 Sep. 2018 Location: Dallas, Texas Price: $625,000 The late architect Albert Ledner is probably best known for the National Maritime Union building, a modernist masterpiece in New York City whose windows looks like ship portholes. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Brick-and-wood midcentury gem asks $625K," 17 Aug. 2018 Instead, what inevitably plays out is the dashing of a masterpiece by a bullpen that seems determined to ruin deGrom’s life. Jon Tayler,, "The Mets Keep Doing Nothing to Help the Brilliant Jacob deGrom," 28 May 2018 The restaurant worked with Kimberly Perrone of Bloom Flowers to create the gorgeous installation, and have similar cherry blossom masterpieces in their London and Hong Kong locations. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "This NYC Restaurant Created a Spring Wonderland With 1,000 Cherry Blossoms—and It's Breathtaking," 11 May 2018 After just a couple of CPU cycles, you land on a blank page to begin your masterpiece. Chris Wilkinson, Ars Technica, "1990, meet 2018: How far does 20MHz of Macintosh IIsi power go today?," 1 July 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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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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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 \

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).


playful or foolish behavior

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