mas·​tery | \ˈmas-t(ə-)rē \

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That said, the full complement of items makes the game a bit more approachable for complete newcomers, while also taking away a lot of the sense of growth and mastery that comes from building Link's original arsenal one piece at a time. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Nintendo gives Switch subscribers decked-out NES Zelda save file," 10 Oct. 2018 And no one really knows quite yet the capabilities of the Soul stone, the only gem that hasn't been introduced in the Marvel movies — in the comics, its user has mastery over every living or dead soul in the universe. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Avengers: Infinity War': Everything you need to know about Thanos and the Infinity Stones," 18 Apr. 2018 Another example of Stephen King's dramatic mastery is his 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which tells the harrowing story of Andy Dufresne, an accountant falsely accused of murdering his wife and her lover. Alexandra Gekas, Woman's Day, "12 Best Movies Based on Books," 2 Aug. 2010 For all her mastery of great literature, however, Bell was most celebrated in her native Britain for her translations of the French-language Asterix comic-book series, about a village of Gauls resisting Roman occupation. Seattle Times Staff & News Services, The Seattle Times, "This week’s passages," 26 Oct. 2018 Because of her mastery of historical techniques and the extreme beauty of her work, some people might miss the message at the heart of it: Black lives do matter, and always have. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "Painter Elizabeth Colomba Is Giving Art’s Hidden Figures Their Close-Up," 10 Oct. 2018 The result was a heroic mastery combined with the randomness of trash buoyed in the wind. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 Even seemingly subtle shifts can make a major difference, like Serena Williams’s foray into the world of blonde balayage or Emma Stone’s mastery of a wide spectrum of reds. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "15 Celebrities Who Prove a Dye Job Makes a Huge Difference," 18 Oct. 2018 The designers presenting their third womenswear collection for the fashion house have shown their mastery of the Sander minimalist aesthetic but have developed the confidence to imbue it with some nostalgia. Colleen Barry, Fox News, "Milan Fashion: Arbesser embraces sustainability," 19 Sep. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for mastery

Last Updated

18 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mastery

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

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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 \

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mastery

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mastery

Spanish Central: Translation of mastery

Nglish: Translation of mastery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mastery for Arabic Speakers

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).


a knickknack or trinket

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