Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An outstanding work of art or craft.
  • noun The greatest work, as of an artist.
  • noun Something superlative of its kind.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A work or performance of a master; a piece of work of surpassing excellence; any performance or production superior to others of its kind, whether by the same person or by others.
  • noun Chief excellence or talent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Anything done or made with extraordinary skill; a capital performance; a chef-d'œuvre; a supreme achievement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A piece of work that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career.
  • noun A work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship.
  • noun A work created in order to qualify as a master craftsman and member of a guild.

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

  • noun an outstanding achievement
  • noun the most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman

Etymologies

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

[Probably translation of Dutch meesterstuk or German Meisterstück : Dutch meester and German Meister, master + Dutch stuk and German Stück, piece of work.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

master +‎ piece, a calque of Dutch meesterstuk

Examples

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