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

The new music comprising Anna Painting, originally available exclusively as part of Lewis’ recent exhibition in a London gallery earlier this year, unfolds like an art museum soundtrack, with the title track serving as its colorful masterpiece. Kat Bein, Billboard, "First Spin: The Week's Best New Dance Tracks From Elax, Skream & More," 30 Aug. 2019 Grossman died of cancer in 1964, in despair over the suppression of his masterpiece. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman’s Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 Determined to make Alcott’s story fit their faddish social agendas, academics employ themselves by dissecting her masterpiece, ignoring her other works, and turning her into a fierce feminist. Sarah Schutte, National Review, "Louisa May Alcott: A Writer for All Ages," 22 Aug. 2019 The influential Wright is best known for his expensive masterpieces created during the first half of the 20th century., "2019 Street of Dreams: Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home with wide eaves, wine racks," 8 Aug. 2019 Because Ryan knew the princess and her sons, his masterpiece and most of the other important works from the art collection that spanned multiple homes went to Christie's. Dallas News, "The Auction Whisperer: For Dallas' Capera Ryan, friendship comes before the handshake," 1 Aug. 2019 Art supplies will be provided, and budding Picassos can work under the guidance of instructors to create their masterpiece. Michelle Pitcher, The Mercury News, "San Jose community briefs for the week of Aug. 2," 28 July 2019 Arles Vincent van Gogh fell hard for Arles, and painted some of his most memorable masterpieces while living here from 1888 to 1889. Kimberley Lovato, National Geographic, "5 beautiful cities in France for avoiding the Paris crowds," 24 July 2019 Since then, Jack has sculpted, baked, and painted his masterpieces, and many Coloradans have admired — and devoured — them. James Gottry, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: A third Jack Phillips lawsuit demonstrates that persistence can be virtue or vice," 23 July 2019

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

5 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for masterpiece

The first known use of masterpiece was in 1600

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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 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).


to make a temporary encampment

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