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[task-mas-ter, tahsk-mah-ster] /ˈtæskˌmæs tər, ˈtɑskˌmɑ stər/
a person whose function it is to assign tasks, especially burdensome ones, to others.
a person who supervises rigorously the work of others.
Origin of taskmaster
1520-30; task + master
Related forms
taskmastership, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for taskmaster
  • For debt, though eminently useful at times, is also a brutal taskmaster.
  • The majority of his pupils found him an impossibly demanding and exacting taskmaster.
  • He was as fierce a taskmaster with his family as he was with himself.
  • He was growing into the taskmaster who would prowl the parking lot on weekends to see who'd made it in.
  • He urged on solos and orchestrated the interplay, part cheerleader, part taskmaster.
  • Soon after taking the job, his personality changes dramatically and soon he has become a pompous and excessively harsh taskmaster.
  • To those who work at her fashion house, she is an unremittingly severe taskmaster.
  • He is known as a demanding courtroom taskmaster who does not tolerate delay, rudeness or challenges to his authority.
  • He is a demanding taskmaster and believes only in facts.
  • She has been a gentle taskmaster, kindly encouraging everyone to their best efforts.
British Dictionary definitions for taskmaster


a person, discipline, etc, that enforces work, esp hard or continuous work: his teacher is a hard taskmaster
Derived Forms
taskmistress, noun:feminine
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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Word Origin and History for taskmaster

1520s, from task (n.) + master (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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