from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One who has formerly held the position of master in an organization, especially a social one such as a lodge or club.
- n. One who is thoroughly experienced and skilled in a particular craft or activity.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Someone who has previously been a master at a given lodge.
- n. One who has an extremely high level of ability or knowledge within an area of achievement or expertise.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a person who is unusually expert, skilled, or experienced in some art, technique, or profession; -- usually used with at or of.
- adj. See under Master.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See passed master, under master.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. someone who was formerly a master
- n. someone who has long and thorough experience in a given activity
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I know everything of them by rote and I am a past master in tota re scibili.
Disraeli called the Irishman an incendiary, and O'Connell, who was a past master in abuse, replied in a speech wherein he exhausted the Billingsgate lexicon.
Cairo is a sharper and a past master in knavery, and he will certainly slay the Jew and bring hither the dress.’
They abode thus awhile, till it so befel that the fox exhorted the wolf to use gentle dealing and leave off his ill deeds, saying, If thou persist in thine arrogance, belike Allah will give the son of Adam power over thee, for he is past master in guile and wile; and by his artifice he bringeth down the birds from the firmament and he haleth the mighty fish forth of the flood-waters: and he cutteth the mountain and transporteth it from place to place.