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.