mas·​ter·​stroke | \ ˈma-stər-ˌstrōk How to pronounce masterstroke (audio) \

Definition of masterstroke

: a masterly performance or move

Examples of masterstroke in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Mode’s masterstroke, in a script otherwise defined by high-society and movie-celebrity clichés and constant jokes about impatience and exasperation, is to keep reminding us that the beleaguered Sam has a personal life. Christopher Arnott,, "Review: 'Fully Committed’ a funny, moving, juggling act from TheaterWorks," 12 Aug. 2019 That this game was shown free-to-air on UK television, the first live men's England international to be broadcast on terrestrial since 2005, may prove a masterstroke. James Masters, CNN, "England defeats New Zealand in astonishing Cricket World Cup final," 14 July 2019 Johnson’s masterstroke is to tie the key figures of the Leave campaign now in his cabinet to this strategy, while effectively conceding the demands of Tory Remainers. Craig Berry, Quartz, "Boris Johnson’s hard Brexit cabinet actually makes a soft Brexit more likely," 26 July 2019 But some in the Democratic establishment fretted that Trump’s repellent statements were a political masterstroke, elevating four fringe figures as the face of the party. Molly Ball, Time, "What Do the Democrats Stand For? Inside a Fight Over America's Future," 25 July 2019 In a curatorial masterstroke, Eloy has assembled some of the pictures that once hung at the Casa Torres (and were subsequently given to the Prado, of which the marquis was a significant trustee) and arranged them in the first room of the exhibition. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "“Balenciaga and Spanish Painting” Opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid," 21 June 2019 Instead, his appointment at King Power Stadium turned out to be a masterstroke., "Claudio Ranieri: A Ridiculed Tinkerman Who Masterminded One of Football's Greatest Ever Achievements," 12 June 2019 Mr Trump’s defenders argue that using tariffs as a threat to force Mexico to get tough on migration was a masterstroke. The Economist, "Mexico rejoices after averting Donald Trump’s tariffs threat," 9 June 2019 The director’s decision not to represent the atrocities themselves but instead evoke them indirectly by means of a landscape devoid of monuments and a people committed to silence is a masterstroke. Giles Harvey, Harper's magazine, "Home Truths," 10 Jan. 2019

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

1679, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Aug 2019

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The first known use of masterstroke was in 1679

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concealment of treason or felony

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