Date: 1000-1100
Language: Old French
Origin: maistre and the word it came from, Latin magister 'chief'


1 noun
Related topics: Pets, Navy, School, Water
mas‧ter1 [countable]

skilled person

someone who is very skilled at something
master of
Runyon was a master of the short story.
a master of disguise
Hitchcock was an acknowledged master of suspense.
master at (doing) something
She's a master at manipulating people.
a work of art by a true master

be a past master (at something)

British English to be very good at doing something because you have done it a lot:
He's a past master at getting free drinks out of people.

man with authority

a) a man who has control or authority over servants or workers [↪ mistress]:
You'll have to ask the master's permission.
b) DHP the male owner of a dog [↪ mistress]

be your own master

to be in control of your own life or work:
Determined to be his own master, Simmons quit in 1998 and started working freelance.

be master of your own fate/destiny

literary to be in complete control of what happens to you:
Our country must be master of its own economic destiny.


a document, record, etc from which copies are made:
I gave him the master to copy.

Master of Arts/Science/Education etc

a university degree in an arts subject, a science subject etc that you can get after your first degree MA, M.Sc., MEd, MPhil

➔ Bachelor of Arts/Science/Education etc

at bachelor (2)


a) British English old-fashionedSES a male teacher [↪ headmaster, mistress]
b) also Master a wise person whose ideas and words other people accept and follow:
a Zen master

young boy

also Master old-fashioned used when speaking or referring to a young boy:
How's young Master Toby today?

university official

also Master the person who is in charge of some university colleges in the UK:
the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge


old-fashionedPMNTTW someone who is in charge of a ship

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