school·​mas·​ter | \ ˈskül-ˌma-stər How to pronounce schoolmaster (audio) \

Definition of schoolmaster

1 : a man who teaches school
2 : one that disciplines or directs
3 : a reddish-brown edible snapper (Lutjanus apodus) of the tropical Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico

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Other Words from schoolmaster

schoolmasterish \ ˈskül-​ˌma-​stə-​rish How to pronounce schoolmaster (audio) \ adjective
schoolmasterly adjective

Examples of schoolmaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His rimless eyeglasses and charcoal sport coat gave him the air of a serious, but benevolent, schoolmaster. Rory Smith, New York Times, "The Oracle Is Speaking Again. Who Will Listen This Time?," 8 Dec. 2020 What does being the son of a schoolmaster have to do with anything? Christine Smallwood, Harper's Magazine, "Through Clenched Teeth," 30 Mar. 2020 Young David Montgomery saw little of his father during the early years of World War II and in 1942 was placed under the guardianship of a schoolmaster, Tom Reynolds, and his wife, Phyllis. Washington Post, "David Montgomery, son of British military leader who forged unlikely friendship, dies at 91," 23 Jan. 2020 To torment the village schoolmaster, the rantipoles sneak into his house and load his favorite pipe with gunpowder. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Many Ways of Making Mischief," 7 Feb. 2020 Jesuits worked as schoolmasters in places like China, India, Brazil, the Congo. Anne Quito, Quartz at Work, "What a Jesuit school in Manila can teach us about the purpose of companies," 16 Dec. 2019 Even more directly, Eliot the schoolmaster continues to influence students of literature. Kevin Dettmar, The New Yorker, "A Hundred Years of T. S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent”," 27 Oct. 2019 The second figure was the schoolmaster himself, of which there were three types: grammatistes, who taught grammar; kitharistes, who taught music; and paidotribes, who taught physical education. Raquel López, National Geographic, "Did sons and daughters get the same education in ancient Greece?," 28 Aug. 2019 The first enslaved African in Massachusetts was the property of the schoolmaster of Harvard. The New York Review of Books, "Alex Carp," 25 Nov. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Schoolmaster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for schoolmaster



English Language Learners Definition of schoolmaster

old-fashioned : a man who teaches in a school


school·​mas·​ter | \ ˈskül-ˌma-stər How to pronounce schoolmaster (audio) \

Kids Definition of schoolmaster

: a man who is in charge of a school or teaches in a school

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