Definitions

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

  • adj. Given to playing the master; imperious or domineering.
  • adj. Fit to command.
  • adj. Revealing mastery or skill; expert: a masterful technique; masterful moviemaking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the manner of a master of an art, technique, profession, or craft; masterly.
  • adj. In the manner of a master; very skillful.
  • adj. Having or showing the qualities of a master vis-a-vis a dependent or subordinate; authoritative; domineering.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Inclined to play the master; domineering; imperious; arbitrary.
  • adj. Having the skill or power of a master; indicating or expressing power or mastery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the character or qualities of a master; capable of mastery; controlling; imperious; domineering.
  • Expressing or indicating mastery; exhibiting force or power: as, a masterful manner or command.

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

  • adj. having or revealing supreme mastery or skill

Etymologies

master +‎ -ful (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The other was a shrewd-looking, keen-faced, sparely-built man, with somewhat aquiline nose and straight narrow forehead, not at all bad-looking or evil-looking and with an air of strong determination; in short, what one calls a masterful man.

    The Workingman's Paradise An Australian Labour Novel

  • He began making recordings under his own name in the mid-'80s - around the time he was diagnosed with HIV - and for the better part of the next two decades, became known as a masterful interpreter and accompanist in his own right.

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  • a stern and stubborn nature that those who liked him called masterful, and that those who disliked him -- a more numerous body -- termed tyrannical.

    Novel Notes

  • All six of the Vol’s scoring drives covered more than 80 yards, with freshman QBs Brent Schaeffer and Erik Ainge directed the drives in masterful fashion.

    Tennesssee 42, UNLV 17 « Michael in Nashville

  • Though she did not graduate with a specific distinction, she was known as a masterful storyteller.

    Ahead Of Her Time « AAUW Dialog

  • Every feature was strong and rugged, which gave his countenance an expression masterful to the point of being almost surly when it was in repose; but it was a face which caused most men -- and women over thirty -- to turn for a second glance.

    'Smiles' A Rose of the Cumberlands

  • 'Well, Wych?' he said, looking at her with the grey eyes full of love, and full of delight in her, and full of admiration of her; not the less, soft as they were, full also of that expression which is called masterful when people do not like it.

    The Gold of Chickaree

  • Taylor Branch's three-volume biography of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is variously described as masterful, epic, a narrative tour-de-force -- the definitive story of the civil rights movement in America's past century.

    post-gazette.com - News

  • Permalink: Windows 7 Beta Drivers for Microsoft Hardware See all of FM Tech New York hails pilot who landed jetliner on river - NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York feted its latest hero, the pilot who landed a distressed US Airways jetliner on the Hudson River, saving all 155 on board in what experts called a masterful job under life-or-death pressure.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • Tonnie Bernhardson as Zuleika's old mother recalls her masterful performance as the mother in UCC's production of "Gypsy" a couple of years ago, although here in a smaller role.

    News Review - Top Stories

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