noun mas·ter \ˈmas-tər\

Definition of MASTER

a (1) :  a male teacher (2) :  a person holding an academic degree higher than a bachelor's but lower than a doctor's
b often capitalized :  a revered religious leader
c :  a worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices
d (1) :  an artist, performer, or player of consummate skill
(2) :  a great figure of the past (as in science or art) whose work serves as a model or ideal
a :  one having authority over another :  ruler, governor
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
(2) :  an owner especially of a slave or animal
e :  the employer especially of a servant
f (1) dial :  husband
(2) :  the male head of a household
a (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
a :  a presiding officer in an institution or society (as a college)
b :  any of several officers of court appointed to assist (as by hearing and reporting) a judge
a :  a master mechanism or device
b :  an original from which copies can be made; especially :  a master recording (as a magnetic tape)
mas·ter·ship \-ˌship\ noun

Origin of MASTER

Middle English, from Old English magister & Anglo-French meistre, both from Latin magister; akin to Latin magnus large — more at much
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis



: highly skilled

: largest or most important

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

Full Definition of MASTER

:  being or relating to a master: as
a :  having chief authority :  dominant
b :  skilled, proficient <a prosperous master builder — Current Biography>
c :  principal, predominant
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 (as a dimension or weight)
f :  being or relating to a master from which duplicates are made

First Known Use of MASTER

12th century



: 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

mas·teredmas·ter·ing \-t(ə-)riŋ\

Full Definition of MASTER

transitive verb
:  to become master of :  overcome <mastered his fears>
a :  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 publishing — Current Biography>
:  to produce a master recording of (as a musical rendition)

First Known Use of MASTER

13th century

Other Audio Recording Terms

baffle, dub, fidelity, transcription, treble
MASTER Defined for Kids


noun mas·ter \ˈma-stər\

Definition of MASTER for Kids

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



Definition of MASTER for Kids

:  to get control of <You must master your fear.>
:  to become skillful at <I managed to master arithmetic.>
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears