Meaning of MASTER in English


I. ˈmastə(r), -aas-, -ais-, -ȧs- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English maister master, teacher, ruler, from Old English mægester, magister & Old French maistre, both from Latin magister; akin to Latin magnus great, large — more at much



(1) : a male teacher : tutor ; especially : schoolmaster

watched my master ' s face pass from amiability to sternness — James Joyce

(2) : a person qualified to teach at a medieval university

(3) : a person who has received an academic degree higher than a bachelor's but lower than a doctor's

a reception was held for the newly made masters and doctors


(1) often capitalized : a religious leader whose doctrines one accepts : one who inspires devotion or reverence on the part of his disciples

eighty disciples drawn from diverse faiths sat with their Master — M.L.Bach

(2) : a great figure of the past (as in science, literature, or art) whose work serves as a model, ideal, or landmark for later generations : a figure of immense authority or generally recognized greatness

one of the few valid studies of our literature on the scale of the masters — M.D.Geismar

thoughts which had already occurred to the great masters of the past — Arturo Castiglioni

music of the masters

c. : a workman so proficient in his handicraft or trade as to be able to follow it independently and employ or supervise journeymen or apprentices ; sometimes : one who has passed a licensing examination and consequently is permitted to contract for services


(1) : a person who possesses mastery (as of an art or technique) : an artist or performer of consummate skill

one of the masters of the new poetic idiom — R.W.Southern

beautiful playing by a throng of masters — Wilder Hobson

a follower of the school of English masters — Current Biography

(2) archaic : a painting or statue by a master — see old master

(3) : an anonymous artist of distinction whose work is distinguishable from other work of his time and place by its characteristic style or quality

the master of the St. Cecilia altarpiece

e. : a person who is highly skilled, ingenious, or dexterous in some area of activity

a master at laying out and illustrating advertisements — W.J.Reilly

a master at dissembling

a master of paradox

a master of historical technique

f. : a bridge player (as in United States contract bridge tournaments) eligible to play in restricted contests

2. : an individual having control, authority, or predominance over another: as


(1) : a man having control over the actions of others : ruler , governor

this decisive battle left him master of Europe

the masters of the little state met and drafted a defiant reply

(2) : a sovereign ruler in relation to his ministers or diplomatic agents

bear this message to the king your master

b. : one that conquers or masters or is capable of conquering or mastering another : victor , superior

in this young, obscure challenger the champion found his master


(1) : a person who is licensed to take complete charge of a merchant ship : captain , master mariner

(2) : a former commissioned officer (as in the United States and British navies) ranking next below a lieutenant and performing the duties of the present navigating officer


(1) : a person having mastery of or control over something abstract or immaterial

proved himself master of the situation

master of his own time

(2) : something abstract or immaterial that exercises control or mastery

the doctrine that fate is the master of our destinies

(3) : a possessor or owner of something inanimate

master of a stately house and broad acres

(4) : the owner of a slave

his slaves found him a kind master

or of an animal

these tribesmen are masters of vast herds of sheep

also : the male person whom an animal has been trained to obey

pulling his two-year-old master from a rain-swollen river — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union


(1) : employer

the master eats his meal in a separate room from the laborer — J.M.Mogey

especially : the employer of a domestic or personal servant

informed the caller his master was not at home

(2) : the person to whom an apprentice is articled

f. : a leader (as a bellwether) of a herd of animals


(1) dialect : husband

my master isn't home

(2) : the male head of a household

the master of the house

(3) : a woman's lover or paramour

the mistress produces to the court letters from her late master — Time

h. : a man who owns or controls a pack of hounds ; especially : one who leads, commands, and disciplines the field in a hunt when hounds are in full cry

always refer to all persons on the hunt, other than masters and whips, as the field — Coles Phinizy

— often used in the phrase master of hounds or in a phrase designating a pack of hounds of a specified kind (as master of foxhounds, master of beagles )

i. : a supernatural being in the mythology of a primitive people, regarded as the intermediary between men and a particular species of animals, replenishing the species, and responsible for sending animals to be killed by deserving hunters

success depended … upon a man's satisfactory relations with the superhuman masters — American Anthropologist



(1) archaic : mr. 1a

(2) now chiefly dialect : mister II 2, 4

(3) : youth , boy — now used chiefly as a conventional title of courtesy before the name of a boy

b. : any of various members of the Scottish peerage: as

(1) : the eldest son of a peer (as a viscount or baron)

The Master of Ballantrae

(2) : the heir presumptive to a peerage ; specifically : the eldest son of an heir apparent to an earldom



(1) : a presiding or administrative officer ; especially : the head in an institution or society (as a college, guild, or corporation)

(2) : an official who has custody or superintendence of a specified thing

the Master of the Robes


(1) : any of several officers of court appointed to assist a judge (as by hearing and reporting upon matters referred to him or by recording proceedings)

(2) : any of several clerks or recording officers of the supreme courts of England

c. : a person holding an office of authority among the Freemasons ; especially : the presiding officer — called also worshipful master


a. : master matrix

b. or master copy : a surface (as a stencil or a gelatin matrix) from which copies are printed by direct contact on a duplicating machine

c. : a master mechanism or device ; specifically : caster 1b

II. transitive verb

( mastered ; mastered ; mastering -t(ə)riŋ ; masters )

Etymology: Middle English maistren, from maister, n. — more at master I


a. : to become master of : bring under control : conquer , overcome

tried to master his stammer — Osbert Sitwell

mastered his love for the wife of a neighbor — Stringfellow Barr

b. : to cause to obey : bend to one's will : subdue , tame

masters his gal by knocking her down and dragging her away — M.W.Fishwick

a farmer must master every beast on his farm — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

man has mastered nature — P.L.Ralph

c. obsolete : to have or get possession of : own , possess

d. : to act as master over : rule , regulate , direct


a. : to become skilled or proficient in the use of : achieve mastery or command of

the telephone was an instrument he could not master — Osbert Sitwell

master a foreign language

could not master the technique necessary for a concert pianist — Current Biography

b. : to gain a thorough or perfect understanding, grasp, or knowledge of

failed to master the windings of that river — Thomas Wood †1950

could master any intricate detail of pertinent information — Robert White

c. : to work out : solve

master a knotty problem

III. adjective

Etymology: Middle English maister, from maister, n. — more at master I

1. : being or relating to a master: as

a. : having chief authority or power : ruling over others : dominant

the theory of a master race

b. : being a master as distinguished from a journeyman or apprentice

a master electrician

a master plumber

c. : being a person notably or supremely proficient in something : consummately accomplished or skilled

flute music played by a master minstrel — Lavinia R. Davis

a master mathematician and craftsman — Eric Hoffer

d. : being the chief, guiding, or principal one : having all others subordinate to oneself : principal , controlling , ruling

the fear of communism is the master fear — W.M.Ball

anatomy and perspective are almost the master subjects — Reyner Banham

it was the master design and … thousands of westerns would be modeled on it — Fanny K. Wister

e. : being something in a superlative degree — often used in combination

a saturnine master -bore — D.B.W.Lewis

a master -liar

f. : being a device or mechanism that controls the operation of another mechanism

the pressure exerted by the brake fluid from the master cylinder acting on the rear face of the slave cylinder piston — Irving Frazee

g. : being a mechanical part or a device that establishes a dimension, weight, or other standard

the use of suitable master gears or sample gears is necessary for reference purposes — G.F.Hessler

— compare master gage

h. : being or relating to a record (as on magnetic tape) from which duplicates or prints are intended to be made

2. dialect : remarkable , great , notable , outstanding

I've seen some master crops there — Adrian Bell

IV. adverb

chiefly dialect : exceedingly , very

a master long, rough road — Sarah O. Jewett

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: mast (I) + -er

: a ship having a specified number of masts — usually used in combination

a two- master

VI. noun

: a record (as a film, sound recording, or videotape) from which copies can be produced

VII. transitive verb

: to produce a master of (as a sound recording)

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.