[mas-ter, mah-ster]
a person with the ability or power to use, control, or dispose of something: a master of six languages; to be master of one's fate.
an owner of a slave, animal, etc.
an employer of workers or servants.
the male head of a household.
a person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science: the great masters of the Impressionist period.
a person whose teachings others accept or follow: a Zen master.
Chiefly British. a male teacher or schoolmaster.
a worker qualified to teach apprentices and to carry on a trade independently.
a title given to a bridge or chess player who has won or placed in a certain number of officially recognized tournaments.
a person holding this title.
a person who commands a merchant ship; captain.
a victor or conqueror.
a presiding officer.
an officer of the court to whom some or all of the issues in a case may be referred for the purpose of taking testimony and making a report to the court.
the Master, Jesus Christ.
a person who has been awarded a master's degree.
a boy or young man (used chiefly as a term of address).
Also called matrix. an original document, drawing, manuscript, etc., from which copies are made.
a device for controlling another device operating in a similar way. Compare slave ( def 5 ).
matrix ( def 13 ).
a tape or disk from which duplicates may be made.
Also called copy negative. Photography. a film, usually a negative, used primarily for making large quantities of prints.
Archaic. a work of art produced by a master.
being master; exercising mastery; dominant.
chief or principal: a master list.
directing or controlling: a master switch.
of or pertaining to a master from which copies are made: master film; master matrix; master record; master tape.
dominating or predominant: a master play.
being a master of some occupation, art, etc.; eminently skilled: a master diplomat; a master pianist.
being a master carrying on one's trade independently, rather than a worker employed by another: a master plumber.
characteristic of a master; showing mastery.
verb (used with object)
to make oneself master of; become an adept in: to master a language.
to conquer or overcome: to master one's pride.
to rule or direct as master: to master a crew.
Recording. to produce a master tape, disk, or record of: The producer recorded, mixed, and mastered the new album.

before 900; Middle English maistre, maister, Old English magister < Latin; akin to magnus great

masterless, adjective
outmaster, verb (used with object)
submaster, noun
undermaster, noun
unmastered, adjective
well-mastered, adjective

1. adept, expert. 26. main, leading, primary, prime, cardinal. 31. adept, expert, skillful. 33. subdue, control. 34. govern, manage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
master (ˈmɑːstə)
1.  the man in authority, such as the head of a household, the employer of servants, or the owner of slaves or animalsRelated: magistral
2.  a.  a person with exceptional skill at a certain thing: a master of the violin
 b.  (as modifier): a master thief
3.  (often capital) a great artist, esp an anonymous but influential artist
4.  a.  a person who has complete control of a situation
 b.  an abstract thing regarded as having power or influence: they regarded fate as the master of their lives
5.  a.  a workman or craftsman fully qualified to practise his trade and to train others in it
 b.  (as modifier): master carpenter
6.  a.  an original copy, stencil, tape, etc, from which duplicates are made
 b.  (as modifier): master copy
7.  a player of a game, esp chess or bridge, who has won a specified number of tournament games
8.  the principal of some colleges
9.  a highly regarded teacher or leader whose religion or philosophy is accepted by followers
10.  a graduate holding a master's degree
11.  the chief executive officer aboard a merchant ship
12.  a person presiding over a function, organization, or institution
13.  chiefly (Brit) a male teacher
14.  an officer of the Supreme Court of Judicature subordinate to a judge
15.  the superior person or side in a contest
16.  a machine or device that operates to control a similar one
17.  (often capital) the heir apparent of a Scottish viscount or baron
18.  (modifier) overall or controlling: master plan
19.  (modifier) designating a device or mechanism that controls others: master switch
20.  (modifier) main; principal: master bedroom
21.  informal (South African) the master the man of the house
22.  to become thoroughly proficient in: to master the art of driving
23.  to overcome; defeat: to master your emotions
24.  to rule or control as master
Related: magistral
[Old English magister teacher, from Latin; related to Latin magis more, to a greater extent]

Master (ˈmɑːstə)
1.  a title of address placed before the first name or surname of a boy
2.  a respectful term of address, esp as used by disciples when addressing or referring to a religious teacher
3.  an archaic equivalent of Mr

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. mægester "one having control or authority," from L. magister "chief, head, director, teacher" (cf. O.Fr. maistre, Fr. maître, It. maestro, Ger. Meister), influenced in M.E. by O.Fr. maistre, from L. magister, contrastive adj. from magis (adv.) "more," itself a comp. of magnus "great."
Meaning "original of a recording" is from 1904. In academic senses (from M.L. magister) it is attested from late 14c., originally a degree conveying authority to teach in the universities. The verb is attested from early 13c. Related: Mastered.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

master definition


The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see past master.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Anyone who has tried to master the three-ball-toss knows how difficult juggling is and how much practice it takes to learn it.
It's something that he has to learn, and only through his experience and all the encounters he has does he slowly master it.
In charge of the master plan in both cases, he is designing new edifices for each site.
Instead, the length of some courses will be based on how quickly students can
  master the subject, he said.
Idioms & Phrases
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