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[mas-ter-uh t-ahrmz, mah-ster-] /ˈmæs tər ətˈɑrmz, ˈmɑ stər-/
noun, plural masters-at-arms.
an officer of a fraternal organization, veterans' society, or the like, empowered to maintain order, exclude unauthorized persons, etc.
Navy. a petty officer who has various duties, such as keeping order on the ship, taking charge of prisoners, etc.
Origin of master-at-arms
1740-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for master-at-arms
Historical Examples
  • The master-at-arms was expostulating with one of the new recruits who had reported that afternoon.

    A Gunner Aboard the "Yankee" Russell Doubleday
  • The master-at-arms, who had been looking for him, told him that he was wanted on the quarterdeck.

    The Rival Crusoes W.H.G. Kingston
  • Grant retorted by ordering the master-at-arms to enter if necessary and carry out his orders.

    London in the Sixties One of the Old Brigade
  • “Boy Rayner, the captain has sent for you into the cabin,” said the master-at-arms.

  • "I guess you'll have to ask the master-at-arms," rejoined Herc, who was not prepossessed by his questioner's appearance.

  • You got drunk, sir; take him aft, master-at-arms, and put him in irons.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • But a fortunate interruption took place, by the appearance of the master-at-arms.

    The King's Own Captain Frederick Marryat
  • It had been put out as usual by the master-at-arms; but the refractory one had relighted it.

    Sea Stories Various
  • On passing the entry-port, however, my old friend the master-at-arms hailed me.

    Young Tom Bowling J.C. Hutcheson
  • Old Hildebrand was his master-at-arms, who had fled with him.

British Dictionary definitions for master-at-arms


noun (pl) masters-at-arms
the senior rating, of Chief Petty Officer rank, in a naval unit responsible for discipline, administration, and police duties
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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