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

Though Brodzki, who is now 93, perhaps would have loved to see his modernist masterpiece live on in its original form, there’s something very cool about letting a new generation of people enjoy its beauty. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "This Brutalist masterpiece is now a gorgeous coworking space," 12 Dec. 2018 But that doesn’t mean it’s time for art museums to douse their masterpieces with spores. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "What’s eating this 400-year-old painting? A whole ecosystem of microbes," 11 Dec. 2018 If a client has their own aesthetic, Swift and her team will design them their a unique masterpiece. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Seamless For Christmas Trees Now Exists," 10 Dec. 2018 In addition to skin care, Lottie said that tools are critical to creating her makeup masterpieces. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Lottie Went From Being an Accountant to an A-List Makeup Artist," 20 Sep. 2018 The artist encouraged fans to take their own nude selfies in front of his masterpiece. Fox News, "7 things you didn't know about Emily Ratajkowski," 24 Aug. 2018 Focusing on your masterpiece can distract you from anxiety triggers. Aviva Patz And Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure," 20 Aug. 2018 Bring a bucket and shovel to construct your own masterpiece — oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen., "The week ahead: music, theater, art, and more," 13 July 2018 Gellhorn wrote here too, completing two novels, A Stricken Field and Liana, and a collection of stories, The Heart of Another, during the same period when Hemingway was laboring over his Spanish Civil War masterpiece. Paula Mclain, Town & Country, "The Extraordinary Life of Martha Gellhorn, the Woman Ernest Hemingway Tried to Erase," 12 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.

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

10 Jan 2019

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).


means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!