mas·ter1 / ˈmastər/ • n. 1. chiefly hist. a man who has people working for him, esp. servants or slaves: he acceded to his master's wishes. ∎ a person who has dominance or control of something: he was master of the situation. ∎ a machine or device directly controlling another: [as adj.] a master cylinder. Compare with slave. ∎ dated a male head of a household: the master of the house. ∎ the owner of a dog, horse, or other domesticated animal.2. a skilled practitioner of a particular art or activity: I'm a master of disguise. ∎ a great artist, esp. one belonging to the accepted canon: the work of the great masters is spread around the art galleries of the world. ∎ a very strong chess or bridge player, esp. one who has qualified for the title at international tournaments: a chess master. See also grand master. ∎ (Masters) [treated as sing.] (in some sports) a class for competitors over the usual age for the highest level of competition.3. a person who holds a second or further degree from a university or other academic institution (only in titles and set expressions): a master's degree a Master of Arts.4. a man in charge of an organization or group, in particular: ∎ chiefly Brit. a male schoolteacher, esp. at a public or prep school. ∎ the head of a college or school. ∎ the captain of a merchant ship.5. used as a title prefixed to the name of a boy not old enough to be called “Mr.”: Master James Williams. ∎ archaic a title for a man of high rank or learning. ∎ the title of the heir apparent of a Scottish viscount or baron.6. an original movie, recording, or document from which copies can be made: [as adj.] the master tape. • adj. 1. having or showing very great skill or proficiency: a master painter. ∎ denoting a person skilled in a particular trade and able to teach others: a master bricklayer.2. main; principal: the master bedroom.• v. [tr.] 1. acquire complete knowledge or skill in (an accomplishment, technique, or art): I never mastered Latin.2. gain control of; overcome: I managed to master my fears.3. make a master copy of (a movie or record).DERIVATIVES: mas·ter·dom / -dəm/ n.mas·ter·hood / -ˌhoŏd/ n.mas·ter·less adj.mas·ter·ship / -ˌship/ n.mas·ter2 • n. [in comb.] a ship or boat with a specified number of masts: a three-master.
See also the eye of a master does more work, fire is a good servant but a bad master, Jack is as good as his master, Jack of all trades and master of none, masters, old master.
A. man having control or authority;
B. teacher OE. (one who has received an academic degree orig. conveying authority to teach XIV);
C. title of rank or compliment XIII; title of presiding officer, etc. XIV. OE. mæġister, maġister (corr. to OS. mēster, (O)HG. meister, ON. meistari), a Gmc. adoption from L.; reinforced by OF. maistre (mod. maître) — L. magistrum, nom. magister, usu. referred to magis adv. more. cf. MISTER1.
Hence masterful XIV. masterpiece XVII; after Du. meesterstuk or G. meisterstück piece of work qualifying a craftsman. mastery XIII. ME. meistrie — OF. maistrie.
An individual who hires employees or servants to perform services and who directs the manner in which such services are performed.
A court officer appointed by a judge to perform such jobs as examining witnesses, taking testimony, computing damages, or taking oaths, affidavits, or acknowledgments of deeds.
A master makes a report of his or her findings to the judge so a decree can be formulated. A master in chancery was an officer in Chancery Court in England. In the U. S. these duties may be rendered by a court clerk, commissioner, auditor, or referee.