AskDefine | Define mastery

Dictionary Definition



1 great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity; "a good command of French" [syn: command, control]
2 power to dominate or defeat; "mastery of the seas" [syn: domination, supremacy]
3 the act of mastering or subordinating someone [syn: subordination]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old French maistrie.


  1. The position or authority of a master; dominion; command; supremacy; superiority.
    If divided by mountains, they will fight for the mastery of the passages of the tops. Sir W. Raleigh.
  2. Superiority in war or competition; victory; triumph; preeminence.
    The voice of them that shout for mastery. Exodus. xxxii. 18.
    Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. 1 Corinthians. ix. 25.
    O, but to have gulled him Had been a mastery. B. Jonson.
  3. (obsolete) Contest for superiority. Holland.
  4. (obsolete) A masterly operation; a feat.
    I will do a maistrie ere I go. Chaucer.
  5. (obsolete) Specifically, the philosopher's stone.
  6. The act or process of mastering; the state of having mastered.
    He could attain to a mastery in all languages. Tillotson.
    The learning and mastery of a tongue, being unpleasant in itself, should not be cumbered with other difficulties. Locke.


Extensive Definition

Master (a man having control or authority) or Masters may refer to:

Arts and entertainment


Ranks and titles

  • Master (judiciary), a low (or lowest, in some jurisdictions) rank of judge or judicial official
  • Master (Peerage of Scotland), the male heir-apparent or heir-presumptive to a title in the Peerage of Scotland
  • Master Aircrew, the highest non-commissioned rank held by aircrew in the Royal Air Force, equivalent to Warrant Officer in other branches
  • Master Cadet, the highest non-commissioned rank within the Sea Cadet Corps of the New Zealand Cadet Forces.
  • Master Corporal, an appointment of Corporal in the army and air force elements of the Canadian Forces
  • Master craftsman, a member of a guild
  • Master Driver, a Warrant Officer appointment in the British Army's Royal Logistic Corps
  • Master Gunner, a Warrant Officer appointment in the British Army's Royal Artillery
  • Master Mariner, the official title of someone qualified to command a ship, a nautical captain.
  • Master Seaman, an appointment of Leading Seaman in the navy element of the Canadian Forces
  • Master Sergeant, a non-commissioned officer rank in the Singapore Armed Forces and the United States Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps
  • Master tradesman, a person who has a greater level of skill than most in the licensed trades
  • Master Warrant Officer, the second highest non-commissioned rank in the army and air force elements of the Canadian Forces.
  • Master-at-arms, a naval police officer, often addressed as "Master" in the Royal Navy
  • Special master, a quasi-judicial legal officer
  • Master or Worshipful Master, the presiding officer of a Masonic Lodge
  • Sailing Master, the warrant officer responsible for the navigation and steering of a sailing vessel during the Age of Sail.
  • Jedi master, a rank in the fictional Star Wars Jedi Order


Proper names


The surname Masters is of Norman origin and it is thought that it is probably an anglicized form of the French Maystres, Maystre, or Maistre.


Other uses

  • Gangmaster, a person who provides workers for agricultural purposes.
  • Master-slave (technology), one device controlling the operation of other devices.
  • Master, the original of a document or other copied item.
  • Master recording, the original of a recording.
  • Master Bates, an infamous slavemaster who murdered 1000 slaves before the Civil War.
mastery in German: Master (Begriffsklärung)
mastery in French: Master
mastery in Italian: Master
mastery in Japanese: マスター
mastery in Norwegian: Masters
mastery in Portuguese: Master
mastery in Russian: Мастер (значения)
mastery in Swedish: Husbonde
mastery in Yiddish: הער
mastery in Vietnamese: Thạc sĩ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Cadmean victory, KO, Pyrrhic victory, Waterloo, ability, acme, address, adeptness, adroitness, aedileship, airmanship, apprehension, archbishopric, archiepiscopacy, archiepiscopate, aristocracy, artfulness, artisanship, artistry, ascendancy, authority, authorization, be-all and end-all, beating, bishopric, blue ribbon, bravura, brilliance, capability, capacity, chairmanship, championship, chancellery, chancellorate, chancellorship, charisma, charm, chiefery, chiefry, chieftaincy, chieftainry, chieftainship, clairvoyance, claws, cleverness, clout, clutches, collapse, command, competence, competency, comprehension, conception, conceptualization, condition, conquering, conquest, consequence, consulate, consulship, control, coordination, craft, craftsmanship, crash, credit, cunning, deanery, deathblow, debacle, defeat, deftness, destruction, dexterity, dexterousness, dextrousness, dictatorship, dictature, diplomacy, directorship, dominance, domination, dominion, downfall, drubbing, easy victory, effect, effectiveness, efficiency, eminence, emirate, enchantment, episcopacy, esteem, expertise, expertism, expertness, facility, failure, fall, favor, finesse, first place, first prize, fitness, fittedness, force, foreknowledge, good feeling, governorship, grace, grand slam, grasp, grip, gripe, hand, handiness, hands, headship, hegemony, height, helm, hiding, hierarchy, highest, hold, horsemanship, ideation, imperium, importance, incidental power, influence, influentiality, ingeniousness, ingenuity, insinuation, intellection, intelligence, iron hand, jurisdiction, kingship, knack, knockout, know-how, lambasting, landslide, landslide victory, lathering, leadership, leverage, licking, lordship, magistracy, magistrateship, magistrature, magnetism, management, marksmanship, masterdom, mastership, maturity, maximum, mayoralty, mayorship, mental grasp, metropolitanate, metropolitanship, might, moment, moral victory, most, ne plus ultra, new high, nobility, overcoming, overthrow, overturn, palms, papacy, paramountcy, pashadom, pashalic, patriarchate, patriarchy, personality, persuasion, picnic, pontificality, pontificate, popedom, popehood, popeship, potency, power, practical ability, precognition, predominance, prefectship, prefecture, prehension, premiership, preparedness, preponderance, presidency, presidentship, pressure, prestige, primacy, prime-ministership, prime-ministry, princedom, princeship, principality, proconsulate, proconsulship, proficiency, protectorate, protectorship, provostry, provostship, prowess, purchase, pushover, qualification, quickness, quietus, readiness, record, rectorate, rectorship, regency, regentship, reign, reins of government, repute, resource, resourcefulness, ripeness, ruin, rule, ruling class, runaway victory, savoir-faire, savvy, say, seamanship, seasoning, seigniory, seneschalship, seneschalsy, sheikhdom, sheriffalty, sheriffcy, sheriffdom, shrievalty, skill, skillfulness, smash, sovereignty, strings, style, suasion, subdual, subduing, subjugation, subtle influence, success, suggestion, suitability, suitableness, suitedness, supervisorship, supremacy, suzerainship, suzerainty, swag, sway, tact, tactfulness, talons, technical brilliance, technical mastery, technical skill, technique, tempering, thrashing, timing, top spot, total victory, tribunate, trim, trimming, triumph, trouncing, understanding, undoing, upper hand, vanquishment, victory, virtuosity, vizierate, viziership, walkaway, walkover, weight, whip hand, whipping, win, winning, winning streak, wisdom, wit, wizardry, workmanship, zenith
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