from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that has control over another or others.
  • n. The owner or keeper of an animal: The dog ran toward its master.
  • n. The owner of a slave.
  • n. One who has control over or ownership of something: the master of a large tea plantation.
  • n. The captain of a merchant ship. Also called master mariner.
  • n. An employer.
  • n. The man who serves as the head of a household.
  • n. One who defeats another; a victor.
  • n. One whose teachings or doctrines are accepted by followers.
  • n. Christianity Jesus.
  • n. A male teacher, schoolmaster, or tutor.
  • n. One who holds a master's degree.
  • n. An artist or performer of great and exemplary skill.
  • n. An old master.
  • n. A worker qualified to teach apprentices and carry on the craft independently.
  • n. An expert: a master of three languages.
  • n. Used formerly as a title for a man holding a naval office ranking next below a lieutenant on a warship.
  • n. Used as a title for a man who serves as the head or presiding officer of certain societies, clubs, orders, or institutions.
  • n. Chiefly British Used as a title for any of various male law court officers.
  • n. Used as a title for any of various male officers having specified duties concerning the management of the British royal household.
  • n. Used as a courtesy title before the given or full name of a boy not considered old enough to be addressed as Mister.
  • n. Archaic Used as a form of address for a man; mister.
  • n. A man who owns a pack of hounds or is the chief officer of a hunt.
  • n. An original, such as an original document or audio recording, from which copies can be made.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a master.
  • adj. Principal or predominant: a master plot.
  • adj. Controlling all other parts of a mechanism: a master switch.
  • adj. Highly skilled or proficient: a master thief.
  • adj. Being an original from which copies are made.
  • transitive v. To act as or be the master of.
  • transitive v. To make oneself a master of: mastered the language in a year's study.
  • transitive v. To overcome or defeat: He finally mastered his addiction to drugs.
  • transitive v. To reduce to subjugation; break or tame (an animal, for example).
  • transitive v. To produce a master audio recording for.
  • transitive v. To season or age (dyed goods).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Someone who has control over something or someone.
  • n. Owner of an animal or slave.
  • n. The captain of a merchant ship; a master mariner.
  • n. Someone who employs others.
  • n. An expert at something.
  • n. A tradesman who is qualified to teach apprentices.
  • n. A schoolmaster.
  • n. A skilled artist.
  • n. A courtesy title of a man or a boy; mister. See Master.
  • n. A master's degree; a type of postgraduate degree, usually undertaken after a bachelor degree.
  • n. A person holding such a degree.
  • n. The original of a document or of a recording.
  • n. The primary wide shot of a scene, into which the closeups will be edited later.
  • n. A parajudicial officer (such as a referee, an auditor, an examiner, or an assessor) specially appointed to help a court with its proceedings.
  • n. A device that is controlling other devices or is an authoritative source (e.g. master database)
  • adj. Masterful.
  • adj. Main, principal or predominant.
  • adj. Highly skilled.
  • adj. Original.
  • v. To be a master.
  • v. To control.
  • v. To learn to a high degree of proficiency.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A vessel having (so many) masts; -- used only in compounds.
  • n. A male person having another living being so far subject to his will, that he can, in the main, control his or its actions; -- formerly used with much more extensive application than now.
  • n. The employer of a servant.
  • n. The owner of a slave.
  • n. The person to whom an apprentice is articled.
  • n. A sovereign, prince, or feudal noble; a chief, or one exercising similar authority.
  • n. The head of a household.
  • n. The male head of a school or college.
  • n. A male teacher.
  • n. The director of a number of persons performing a ceremony or sharing a feast.
  • n. The owner of a docile brute, -- especially a dog or horse.
  • n. The controller of a familiar spirit or other supernatural being.
  • n. One who uses, or controls at will, anything inanimate.
  • n. One who has attained great skill in the use or application of anything.
  • n. A title given by courtesy, now commonly pronounced mĭster, except when given to boys; -- sometimes written Mister, but usually abbreviated to Mr.
  • n. A young gentleman; a lad, or small boy.
  • n. The commander of a merchant vessel; -- usually called captain. Also, a commissioned officer in the navy ranking next above ensign and below lieutenant; formerly, an officer on a man-of-war who had immediate charge, under the commander, of sailing the vessel.
  • n. A person holding an office of authority among the Freemasons, esp. the presiding officer; also, a person holding a similar office in other civic societies.
  • intransitive v. To be skillful; to excel.
  • transitive v. To become the master of; to subject to one's will, control, or authority; to conquer; to overpower; to subdue.
  • transitive v. To gain the command of, so as to understand or apply; to become an adept in.
  • transitive v. To own; to posses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A man who has authority; a man who exercises the chief control over something or some one; a paramount ruler, governor, or director.
  • n. Specifically - A male teacher or instructor in a school, more especially the sole or head teacher; a schoolmaster.
  • n. The navigator of a ship. In the merchant marine the master is the captain or commander. In men-of-war the navigator or sailing-master formerly had the specific title of master, and was a line-officer of the lowest rank. In the British navy his title is now navigating-lieutenant or staff-commander. In the United States navy he is now ranked as lieutenant (junior grade), between eusign and lieutenant, and is called the navigator.
  • n. One who has another or others under his immediate control; a lord paramount or employer of slaves, vassals, domestic servants, workmen, or laborers, etc.; in law, specifically, one who has in his own right and by virtue of contract a legal personal authority over the services of another, such other being called his servant.
  • n. One charged with the care, direction, oversight, or control of some office, business, undertaking, or department: as, Master of the Rolls; a ship-, harbor-, or dock-master; master of the revels, ceremonies, etc.
  • n. One who has the power of controlling or using at pleasure; an owner or proprietor; a disposer.
  • n. A chief; a principal, head, or leader.
  • n. A man eminently or perfectly skilled in something, as an occupation, art, science, or pursuit; one who has disposing or controlling power of any kind by virtue of natural or acquired ability; a proficient; an adept: as, a master of language, or of the violin; a master in art.
  • n. A title of address, formerly in use, corresponding to magister (which see). Abbreviated M.
  • n. A young gentleman; a boy of the better class.
  • n. A title of dignity or office.
  • n. The title of the head of some societies or corporations: as, the grand master of the Knights of Malta; the master of Balliol College; the master of a lodge of freemasons.
  • n. Eccles., a title applied to certain residentiaries in a minster: as, master of the lady chapel, etc.
  • n. In the game of bowls, the jack.
  • n. A husband.
  • n. An equerry; specifically, the third great officer in the British court. He has the management of all the royal stables and bred horses, with authority over all the equerries and pages, coachmen, footmen, grooms, etc. In state cavalcades he rides next to the sovereign.
  • n. See the quotation.
  • Having or exercising mastery; directing or controlling; chief; principal; leading: as, a master mechanic or mariner; a master builder or printer; a master hand in trade.
  • One who employs workmen in building.
  • [caps.] The chief executive officer of the Knights of Labor. [U. S.]
  • To become the master of; subject to one's will, control, or authority; conquer; overpower; subdue.
  • To make one's self master of; overcome the difficulties of; learn so as to be able to apply or use: as, to master a science.
  • To control as master or owner; possess; have power over.
  • To hold the position or relation of master to; be a master to.
  • In a technical use, to season or age.
  • To be skilful; excel.
  • n. A vessel with (a specified number of) masts: in composition: as, a three-master.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who has general authority over others
  • v. get on top of; deal with successfully
  • n. an officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship
  • n. presiding officer of a school
  • n. an authority qualified to teach apprentices
  • v. have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of
  • n. someone who holds a master's degree from academic institution
  • n. an original creation (i.e., an audio recording) from which copies can be made
  • adj. most important element
  • n. a combatant who is able to defeat rivals
  • n. key that secures entrance everywhere
  • n. an artist of consummate skill
  • n. directs the work of others
  • v. have dominance or the power to defeat over
  • v. be or become completely proficient or skilled in


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English māgister, mægister and Old French maistre, both from Latin magister.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English mæġester, from Latin magister ("chief, teacher"). Reinforced by Old French maistre, mestre also from Latin magister.


  • What General Meade wrote in May, “We must expect disaster so long as the armies are not under one master mind, ”32 Lincoln knew perfectly well, and gladly would he have devolved the military conduct of affairs on one man could he have found that “master mind” for whom he made a painful quest during almost two years.

    Chapter IV

  • We were almost entire strangers to each other; for, when I knew him at the house of my old master, it was not as a _master_, but simply as "Captain Auld," who had married old master's daughter.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

  • The Colonization Society are always reminding us that the _master_ has rights as well as the slave: The Anti-Slavery Society urge us to remember that the _slave_ has rights as well as the master.

    An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans

  • -- "I am master of the children of the parish," said the man; "the children are masters of their mothers, the mothers are rulers of the fathers, and consequently _I am master_ of the whole parish."

    The Jest Book The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings

  • _master_ denotes a relation, that every relation has two terms, that consequently a man cannot be his own master any more than he can be his own father; and that, not owning himself, he may not destroy himself.

    Moral Philosophy

  • _master_ to teach the performers is the very point where the matter sticks, there being no such person as a master among them.

    Memoirs of the Life of the Rt. Hon. Richard Brinsley Sheridan — Volume 01

  • Horn was not unfamiliar with the phrase master plan.


  • Now, before a sensitive, feeling reader gets bent out of shape by my use of the word master in this context, I think that an explanation is in order.

    Born to Bark

  • His father, having grown up as the latest in a long line of sailors, earned the title master mariner when Addison was less than a year old.

    Building Beachwood, Part One « Beachwood Historical Alliance

  • In one of the first posts I wrote when I started blogging (Sep. 2003), I adapted the term master narrative to mean, in press coverage, "the story that produces all the other stories."

    Jay Rosen: The Master Narrative that Went Missing During the Bush Presidency


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  • loving the Zelda quote. you wouldn't believe how many years it took for me to realise it takes heart containers, and not triforce pieces, to get the Master Sword.

    November 22, 2008

  • Wondering if this word has anything to do with mast.

    November 22, 2008

  • Well, probably a 4th-grade level... Just a guess. ;)

    It's a neat idea, though, for a teacher (or student) to use Wordie for lists of spelling words. Kinda makes me wish I *had* a list of spelling words...

    November 30, 2007

  • Any idea what level of competence might be expected in Unit 21?

    November 29, 2007

  • Is Moore4th perhaps a 4th-grader in Ms. Moore's classroom? I'm guessing because, apparently, "Willaim smells."

    November 29, 2007

  • 'Master it and you can have this.'

    I'm not sure what to make of these comments...

    November 29, 2007

  • Willaim smells

    February 15, 2007

  • you are my leader

    February 15, 2007

  • Henry is not cool

    February 15, 2007

  • Rachel thinks she is the mastor.(not)


    February 15, 2007

  • The jedi master

    February 15, 2007

  • February 15, 2007