mas·​tery | \ ˈma-st(ə-)rē How to pronounce mastery (audio) \

Definition of mastery

1a : the authority of a master : dominion
b : the upper hand in a contest or competition : superiority, ascendancy
2a : possession or display of great skill or technique
b : skill or knowledge that makes one master of a subject : command

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of mastery in a Sentence

We were impressed by her mastery of the subject. She achieved a complete mastery of French. He struggled to gain mastery of his fears.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Not their inexplicable road mastery, which has kept them afloat in the playoff hunt despite a sub-.500 home record. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "The triple take: Spurs 109, Pacers 94," 19 Apr. 2021 Amy Sherald’s new work, on exhibit at Hauser Wirth Los Angeles until June 6, 2021 (her first West Coast solo show) is a pleasure, a wonder, a breath of fresh air, a corrective, a display of mastery, brilliance, and soulfulness. Tom Teicholz, Forbes, "Artist Amy Sherald Delivers ‘The Great American Fact’," 15 Apr. 2021 So much for momentum, mojo and to that point a mastery of a hobbled and humbled Coogs team that was there to be taken down. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: Ever get the feeling there's something going on we don't know about?," 23 Mar. 2021 But perseverance breeds mastery – and ultimately respect and affection. James Brown, The Christian Science Monitor, "How an unlikely folk dancer found grace," 19 Mar. 2021 If a traditional bike ride offers some thrill from breezing around outside, Peloton represents a total mastery of the natural environment. New York Times, "This Is Your Brain on Peloton," 16 Mar. 2021 That mastery of media eluded the Egyptian regime 10 years ago this week, when the Arab Spring movement hit full flower in Tahrir Square. Star Tribune, "Tracking the 'extremist land rush' on social media," 29 Jan. 2021 Similarly, group exercise can increase feelings of mastery – thanks to growing competence, for example, at spinning or step aerobics. Jacob Meyer, The Conversation, "Group exercise may be even better for you than solo workouts – here’s why," 29 Dec. 2020 Sandel is aware of the appeal of the ethic of mastery, which inspires in individuals a sense of empowerment and responsibility for their own fate. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Meritocracy on Trial," 23 Dec. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for mastery

Middle English maistrie, from Anglo-French mestrie, maistrie, from meistre master

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mastery

Time Traveler for mastery

Time Traveler

The first known use of mastery was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mastery

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mastery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mastery



English Language Learners Definition of mastery

: knowledge and skill that allows you to do, use, or understand something very well
: complete control of something


mas·​tery | \ ˈma-stə-rē How to pronounce mastery (audio) \

Kids Definition of mastery

1 : complete control The wrestler gained mastery over all of his opponents.
2 : a very high level of skill or knowledge He achieved a complete mastery of the language.

Comments on mastery

What made you want to look up mastery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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