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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

For 10 years, Pasquinelli has lived in a Victorian masterpiece across the street from the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home in the historic Lockerbie neighborhood Downtown. Maureen C. Gilmer, Indianapolis Star, "Hot Property: A $2.7M masterpiece in historic Lockerbie," 25 May 2018 The countess attended the wedding ceremony of her sister-in-law, Princess Stéphanie, to Prince Guillaume, heir apparent to the throne of Luxembourg, in this swooped masterpiece. Jordan Amchin, Vanities, "The Most Memorable, Bizarre, and Fetching Fascinators in Recent History," 17 May 2018 Every meal was a masterpiece of simple ingredients, a burst of colors and flavors. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Guided bike trip through hills of Tuscany offers unforgettable vistas and lessons," 10 July 2018 Best scene: Unlike the movie itself, the trailer is a glorious masterpiece. 6. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Ranking the top 7 Texas sports movies of all time — and their best scenes," 28 June 2018 In retrospect, though, his reaction was a masterpiece of compassion. Geoff Kronik,, "I always thought I was fine with not becoming a father. But then I wasn’t.," 22 June 2018 But if not every work by an artist can be a masterpiece, this strong follow-up is rewarding on its own terms. Charles Desmarais,, "Charles Desmarais’ art picks for June 24," 22 June 2018 But if not every work by an artist can be a masterpiece, this strong follow-up is rewarding on its own terms. Charles Desmarais, San Francisco Chronicle, "Charles Desmarais’ art picks for June 17," 14 June 2018 The Royals walkout in 1999 was a masterpiece of sports talk radio promotion and #BrandBuilding. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Trump kicks the NFL, Chiefs fans are cocky (?) and Mahomes' endorsements," 5 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.

See More

First Known Use of masterpiece

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about masterpiece

Share masterpiece

Statistics for masterpiece

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for masterpiece

The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

Kids Definition of masterpiece

: something done or made with exceptional skill

Keep scrolling for more

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).


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!