master

noun
mas·​ter | \ ˈma-stər \

Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) : a male teacher
(2) : a person holding an academic degree higher than a bachelor's but lower than a doctor's also : the degree itself
b often capitalized : a revered religious leader
c : a worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices — compare apprentice entry 1 sense 1b, journeyman sense 1
d(1) : an artist, performer, or player of consummate (see consummate entry 1 sense 1) skill
(2) : a great figure of the past (as in science or art) whose work serves as a model or ideal
2a : one having authority over another : ruler, governor This decisive battle left him master of Europe.
b : one that conquers or masters : victor, superior in the new challenger the champion found his master
c : a person licensed to command a merchant ship
d(1) : one having control proved himself master of the situation
(2) : an owner especially of a slave or animal
e : the employer especially of a servant
f(1) dialect : husband
(2) : the male head of a household
3a(1) archaic : mr.
(2) : a youth or boy too young to be called mister used as a title
b : the eldest son of a Scottish viscount or baron (see baron sense 2a)
4a : a presiding (see preside sense 2) officer in an institution or society (such as a college)
b : any of several officers of court appointed to assist (as by hearing and reporting) a judge
5a : a master mechanism (see mechanism sense 1) or device
b : an original from which copies can be made especially : a master recording (such as a magnetic tape)

master

adjective

Definition of master (Entry 2 of 3)

: being or relating to a master: such as
a : having chief authority : dominant
b : skilled, proficient a prosperous master builderCurrent Biography
d : superlative often used in combination a master-liar
e : being a device or mechanism that controls the operation of another mechanism or that establishes a standard (such as a dimension or weight)
f : being or relating to a master from which duplicates are made

master

verb
mastered; mastering\ ˈma-​st(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of master (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to become master of : overcome mastered his fears
2a : to become skilled or proficient in the use of master a foreign language
b : to gain a thorough understanding of had mastered every aspect of publishingCurrent Biography
3 : to produce a master recording of (something, such as a musical rendition)

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Other Words from master

Noun

mastership \ ˈma-​stər-​ˌship \ noun

Examples of master in a Sentence

Noun

As a slave he was required to do his master's bidding without question. The dog was always obedient to its master. the master and mistress of the house She is a master of her craft.

Adjective

thought of themselves as belonging to humanity's master race a master craftsman who makes fine wood furniture of his own designs

Verb

She mastered French in college. He is determined to master every aspect of the business.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the apartment’s most challenging spaces proved to be the master bathroom. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Summer Thornton's Transformation Of This Chicago Apartment Will Make Your Jaw Drop," 9 Jan. 2019 Unlike many celebrities, masters of feeds that serve as shrines to themselves, Hathaway is more likely to compose an inspirational message, a political rallying cry, or—gasp—a picture celebrating another star. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 Tours of the property lead by the art master himself can be arranged ahead of time through email. Jaimie Potters, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to Visiting San Miguel de Allende," 7 Jan. 2019 More than a decade of labor and an untold amount of money has gone into the restoration of airframe 44-83887 under the leadership of master aircraft restorer Tom Reilly of Douglas, Georgia. Chris Clarke, Popular Mechanics, "Super-Rare XP-82 Twin Mustang Flies Again After Decade-Long Restoration," 4 Jan. 2019 The bedrooms continue the intricate ceiling patterns and the master boasts mountain vistas and a courtyard with a kiva fireplace. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Swanky desert estate on 17 acres asks $1.3M," 18 Dec. 2018 After meeting the master and critiquing over 50 essential oils, you'll be presented three juices to road-test before choosing your favorite and requesting any tweaks. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 2018 That approach has won the network more Primetime Emmy Awards than any of its competitors over the last 16 years, with Mr. Plepler the master curator. New York Times, "HBO Must Get Bigger and Broader, Says Its New Overseer," 8 July 2018 Put together, Tufekci’s work offers a kind of master theory of what went wrong for social media — why what was once seen as America’s most innovative industry has now become one of its most hated. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Is Keaton physically hunky enough to play the master CIA death machine? Michael Heaton, cleveland.com, "'American Assassin' is fast and furious fun (review)," 15 Sep. 2017 Refugees need not master German before applying, though they will be required to learn it while studying there. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "How do refugee students make the jump to Germany's universities?," 24 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir have already mastered couples courtside style. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir Continue Their Courtside Hot Streak," 11 Jan. 2019 Oculus has mastered the art of revealing new products. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "HTC reveals two new VR headsets, the untethered Vive Cosmos and gaze-tracking Vive Pro Eye," 7 Jan. 2019 The reality star has well and truly mastered the art of rocking barely-there clothes, usually resulting in an outfit that might understandably leave your eyeballs hanging out of their sockets. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian Just Wore What's Possibly Her Most Naked Dress Ever," 18 Dec. 2018 Valentino has long mastered the art of breathtaking runway moments and today's Pre-Fall 2019 show in Tokyo, Japan was no exception. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Valentino Made It Rain Rose Petals At Its Pre-Fall 2019 Show in Tokyo," 27 Nov. 2018 Pike has mastered this mix, but in an unselfconscious way. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Hollywood Chameleon Rosamund Pike Tackles the Life Story of War Correspondent Marie Colvin," 15 Nov. 2018 Huawei and Xiaomi have mastered the art of bringing premium features to mid- and low-end smartphones, and there’s even more Chinese competition that’s ready and willing to challenge Samsung’s dominant position. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Samsung is losing mobile ground to its Chinese rivals," 2 Nov. 2018 That allowed a machine-learning system to master the language, and eventually every product description will be translated. Eric Bellman, WSJ, "Amazon, to Win in Booming Rural India, Reinvents Itself," 31 Dec. 2018 Below, a look at the best Pre-Fall beauty moves to master. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "The 11 Best Beauty Moments From the Pre-Fall 2019 Collections," 13 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'master.' 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 master

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Adjective

12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for master

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Old English magister & Anglo-French meistre, both from Latin magister; akin to Latin magnus large — more at much

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Statistics for master

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for master

The first known use of master was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for master

master

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: highly skilled

: largest or most important

—used to describe an original version from which other copies can be made

master

verb

English Language Learners Definition of master (Entry 2 of 2)

: to succeed in controlling (something, such as an emotion)

: to learn (something) completely : to get the knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand (something) very well

master

noun
mas·​ter | \ ˈma-stər \

Kids Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : someone having authority over another person, an animal, or a thing the slave's master the master of a ship
2 : a male teacher
3 : an artist or performer of great skill He is a master at making desserts.
4 used as a title for a young boy too young to be called mister Master Timothy Roe

master

verb
mastered; mastering

Kids Definition of master (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get control of You must master your fear.
2 : to become skillful at I managed to master arithmetic.

master

noun
mas·​ter

Legal Definition of master

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an individual or entity (as a corporation) having control or authority over another: as
a : the owner of a slave
b : employer — compare servant
2 : an officer of the court appointed (as under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 53) to assist a judge in a particular case by hearing and reporting on the case, sometimes by making findings of fact and conclusions of law, and by performing various related functions

Note: Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a master may be a magistrate or else may be a person with some special expertise in the matter. The word master as used in the Federal Rules encompasses a referee, an auditor, an examiner, and an assessor. If the master makes findings of fact, they are reviewable de novo by the court except when the parties have stipulated that the findings will be reviewed for clear error or that the master's findings are to be final.

master

adjective

Legal Definition of master (Entry 2 of 2)

: being the principal or controlling one : governing a number of subordinate like things a master insurance policy

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More from Merriam-Webster on master

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with master

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for master

Spanish Central: Translation of master

Nglish: Translation of master for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of master for Arabic Speakers

Comments on master

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