Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Master (-ẽr) noun (Nautical) A vessel having (so many) masts; -- used only in compounds; as, a two- master .

Master (mȧs"tẽr) noun [ Middle English maistre , maister , Old French maistre , mestre , French maître , from Latin magister , orig. a double comparative from the root of magnus great, akin to Greek me`gas . Confer Maestro , Magister , Magistrate , Magnitude , Major , Mister , Mistress , Mickle .]
1. A male person having another living being so far subject to his will, that he can, in the main, control his or its actions; -- formerly used with much more extensive application than now. (a) The employer of a servant. (b) The owner of a slave. (c) The person to whom an apprentice is articled. (d) A sovereign, prince, or feudal noble; a chief, or one exercising similar authority. (e) The head of a household. (f) The male head of a school or college. (g) A male teacher. (h) The director of a number of persons performing a ceremony or sharing a feast. (i) The owner of a docile brute, -- especially a dog or horse. (j) The controller of a familiar spirit or other supernatural being.

2. One who uses, or controls at will, anything inanimate; as, to be master of one's time. Shak.

Master of a hundred thousand drachms.
Addison.

We are masters of the sea.
Jowett (Thucyd. ).

3. One who has attained great skill in the use or application of anything; as, a master of oratorical art.

Great masters of ridicule.
Macaulay.

No care is taken to improve young men in their own language, that they may thoroughly understand and be masters of it.
Locke.

4. A title given by courtesy, now commonly pronounced mĭster , except when given to boys; -- sometimes written Mister , but usually abbreviated to Mr.

5. A young gentleman; a lad, or small boy.

Where there are little masters and misses in a house, they are impediments to the diversions of the servants.
Swift.

6. (Nautical) The commander of a merchant vessel; -- usually called captain . Also, a commissioned officer in the navy ranking next above ensign and below lieutenant; formerly, an officer on a man-of-war who had immediate charge, under the commander, of sailing the vessel.

7. A person holding an office of authority among the Freemasons, esp. the presiding officer; also, a person holding a similar office in other civic societies.

Little masters , certain German engravers of the 16th century, so called from the extreme smallness of their prints. -- Master in chancery , an officer of courts of equity, who acts as an assistant to the chancellor or judge, by inquiring into various matters referred to him, and reporting thereon to the court. -- Master of arts , one who takes the second degree at a university; also, the degree or title itself, indicated by the abbreviation M. A., or A. M. -- Master of the horse , the third great officer in the British court, having the management of the royal stables, etc. In ceremonial cavalcades he rides next to the sovereign. -- Master of the rolls , in England, an officer who has charge of the rolls and patents that pass the great seal, and of the records of the chancery, and acts as assistant judge of the court. Bouvier. Wharton. -- Past master , one who has held the office of master in a lodge of Freemasons or in a society similarly organized. -- The old masters , distinguished painters who preceded modern painters; especially, the celebrated painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. -- To be master of one's self , to have entire self-control; not to be governed by passion. -- To be one's own master , to be at liberty to act as one chooses without dictation from anybody.

» Master , signifying chief , principal , masterly , superior , thoroughly skilled , etc., is often used adjectively or in compounds; as, master builder or master -builder, master chord or master -chord, master mason or master -mason, master workman or master -workman, master mechanic, master mind, master spirit, master passion, etc.

Throughout the city by the master gate.
Chaucer.

Master joint (Geol.) , a quarryman's term for the more prominent and extended joints traversing a rock mass. -- Master key , a key adapted to open several locks differing somewhat from each other; figuratively, a rule or principle of general application in solving difficulties. -- Master lode (Mining) , the principal vein of ore. -- Master mariner , an experienced and skilled seaman who is certified to be competent to command a merchant vessel. -- Master sinew (Far.) , a large sinew that surrounds the hough of a horse, and divides it from the bone by a hollow place, where the windgalls are usually seated. -- Master singer . See Mastersinger . -- Master stroke , a capital performance; a masterly achievement; a consummate action; as, a master stroke of policy. -- Master tap (Mech.) , a tap for forming the thread in a screw cutting die. -- Master touch . (a) The touch or skill of a master . Pope. (b) Some part of a performance which exhibits very skillful work or treatment. "Some master touches of this admirable piece." Tatler. -- Master work , the most important work accomplished by a skilled person, as in architecture, literature, etc.; also, a work which shows the skill of a master; a masterpiece. -- Master workman , a man specially skilled in any art, handicraft, or trade, or who is an overseer, foreman, or employer.

Master transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Mastered ; present participle verbal noun Mastering .]
1. To become the master of; to subject to one's will, control, or authority; to conquer; to overpower; to subdue.

Obstinacy and willful neglects must be mastered , even though it cost blows.
Locke.

2. To gain the command of, so as to understand or apply; to become an adept in; as, to master a science.

3. To own; to posses. [ Obsolete]

The wealth
That the world masters .
Shak.

Master intransitive verb To be skillful; to excel. [ Obsolete]

Master vibrator In an internal-combustion engine with two or more cylinders, an induction coil and vibrator placed in the circuit between the battery or magneto and the coils for the different cylinders, which are used without vibrators of their own.

Masterdom noun [ Master + -dom .] Dominion; rule; command. [ R.] Shak.

Masterful adjective
1. Inclined to play the master; domineering; imperious; arbitrary. Dryden.

2. Having the skill or power of a master; indicating or expressing power or mastery.

His masterful , pale face.
Mrs. Browning.

Masterfully adverb In a masterful manner; imperiously.

A lawless and rebellious man who held lands masterfully and in high contempt of the royal authority.
Macaulay.

Masterhood noun The state of being a master; hence, disposition to command or hector. C. Bronté.

Masterless adjective Destitute of a master or owner; ungoverned or ungovernable. -- Mas"ter*less*ness , noun

Masterliness noun The quality or state of being masterly; ability to control wisely or skillfully.

Masterly adjective
1. Suitable to, or characteristic of, a master; indicating thorough knowledge or superior skill and power; showing a master's hand; as, a masterly design; a masterly performance; a masterly policy. "A wise and masterly inactivity." Sir J. Mackintosh.

2. Imperious; domineering; arbitrary.

Masterly adverb With the skill of a master.

Thou dost speak masterly .
Shak.

Masterous adjective Masterly. [ Obsolete] Milton.

Masterpiece noun Anything done or made with extraordinary skill; a capital performance; a chef- d'œuvre; a supreme achievement.

The top and masterpiece of art.
South.

Dissimulation was his masterpiece .
Claredon.

Mastership noun
1. The state or office of a master.

2. Mastery; dominion; superior skill; superiority.

Where noble youths for mastership should strive.
Driden.

3. Chief work; masterpiece. [ Obsolete] Dryden.

4. An ironical title of respect.

How now, seignior Launce ! what news with your mastership ?
Shak.

Mastersinger noun [ A translation of German meistersänger .] One of a class of poets which flourished in Nuremberg and some other cities of Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries. They bound themselves to observe certain arbitrary laws of rhythm.

Masterwort noun (Botany) (a) A tall and coarse European umbelliferous plant ( Peucedanum Ostruthium , formerly Imperatoria ). (b) The Astrantia major , a European umbelliferous plant with a showy colored involucre. (c) Improperly, the cow parsnip ( Heracleum lanatum ).

Mastery noun ; plural Masteries . [ 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; preëminence.

The voice of them that shout for mastery .
Ex. xxxii. 18.

Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
1 Cor. ix. 25.

O, but to have gulled him
Had been a mastery .
B. Jonson.

3. Contest for superiority. [ Obsolete] Holland.

4. A masterly operation; a feat. [ Obsolete]

I will do a maistrie ere I go.
Chaucer.

5. Specifically, the philosopher's stone. [ Obsolete]

6. The act 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.

Mastful adjective [ See lst Mast .] Abounding in mast; producing mast in abundance; as, the mastful forest; a mastful chestnut. Dryden.

Masthead noun (Nautical) The top or head of a mast; the part of a mast above the hounds.

Masthead transitive verb (Nautical) To cause to go to the masthead as a punishment. Marryat.

Masthouse noun A building in which vessels' masts are shaped, fitted, etc.

Mastic noun [ French, from Latin mastiche , mastichum , Greek ..., from ... to chew, because of its being used in the East for chewing.] [ Written also mastich .]


1. (Botany) A low shrubby tree of the genus Pistacia ( P. Lentiscus ), growing upon the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean, and producing a valuable resin; -- called also, mastic tree .

2. A resin exuding from the mastic tree, and obtained by incision. The best is in yellowish white, semitransparent tears, of a faint smell, and is used as an astringent and an aromatic, also as an ingredient in varnishes.

3. A kind of cement composed of burnt clay, litharge, and linseed oil, used for plastering walls, etc.

Barbary mastic (Botany) , the Pistachia Atlantica . -- Peruvian mastic tree (Botany) , a small tree ( Schinus Molle ) with peppery red berries; -- called also pepper tree . -- West Indian mastic (Botany) , a lofty tree ( Bursera gummifera ) full of gum resin in every part.

Masticable adjective Capable of being masticated.

Masticador noun [ Confer Spanish mastigador . See Masticate .] (Man.) A part of a bridle, the slavering bit. [ Written also mastigador .]

Masticate transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Masticated ; present participle & verbal noun Masticating .] [ Latin masticatus , past participle of masticare to chew, probably from mastiche mastic. See Mastic .] To grind or crush with, or as with, the teeth and prepare for swallowing and digestion; to chew; as, to masticate food.

Masticater noun One who masticates.

Mastication noun [ Latin masticatio : confer French mastication .] The act or operation of masticating; chewing, as of food.

Mastication is a necessary preparation of solid aliment, without which there can be no good digestion.
Arbuthnot.

Masticator noun
1. One who masticates.

2. A machine for cutting meat into fine pieces for toothless people; also, a machine for cutting leather, India rubber, or similar tough substances, into fine pieces, in some processes of manufacture.

Masticatory adjective [ Confer French masticatoire .] Chewing; adapted to perform the office of chewing food.

Masticatory noun ; plural -ries (Medicine) A substance to be chewed to increase the saliva. Bacon.

Mastich noun See Mastic .

Masticin noun (Chemistry) A white, amorphous, tenacious substance resembling caoutchouc, and obtained as an insoluble residue of mastic.

Masticot noun (Chemistry) Massicot. [ Obsolete]

Mastiff noun ; plural Mastiffs [ Mastives is irregular and unusual.] [ Prob. from Prov. English masty , adj., large, noun , a great dog, probably from mast fruit, and hence, lit., fattened with mast. There is perhaps confusion with Old French mestif mongrel; confer also French mâtin mastiff, Old French mastin .] (Zoology) A breed of large dogs noted for strength and courage. There are various strains, differing in form and color, and characteristic of different countries.

Mastiff bat (Zoology) , any bat of the genus Molossus ; so called because the face somewhat resembles that of a mastiff.

Mastigopod noun (Zoology) One of the Mastigopoda.

Mastigopoda noun plural [ New Latin , from Greek ma`stix , -igos , a whip + poy`s , podo`s , foot.] (Zoology) The Infusoria.

Mastigure noun [ Greek ma`stix , -igos , a scourge + ... tail.] (Zoology) Any one of several large spiny-tailed lizards of the genus Uromastix . They inhabit Southern Asia and North Africa.

Masting noun (Nautical) The act or process of putting a mast or masts into a vessel; also, the scientific principles which determine the position of masts, and the mechanical methods of placing them.

Masting house (Nautical) , a large building, with suitable mechanism overhanging the water, used for stepping and unstepping the masts of vessels.

Mastitis noun [ Greek masto`s breast + -itis .] (Medicine) Inflammation of the breast.

Mastless adjective [ See lst Mast .] Bearing no mast; as, a mastless oak or beech. Dryden.

Mastless adjective [ See 2d Mast .] Having no mast; as, a mastless vessel.

Mastlin (măst"lĭn) noun See Maslin .

Mastodon noun [ Greek masto`s the breast + 'odoy`s , 'odo`ntos , a tooth. So called from the conical projections upon its molar teeth.] (Paleon.) An extinct genus of mammals closely allied to the elephant, but having less complex molar teeth, and often a pair of lower, as well as upper, tusks, which are incisor teeth. The species were mostly larger than elephants, and their remains occur in nearly all parts of the world in deposits ranging from Miocene to late Quaternary time.

Mastodonsaurus noun [ New Latin , from English Mastodon + Greek say^ros a lizard.] (Paleon.) A large extinct genus of labyrinthodonts, found in the European Triassic rocks.

Mastodontic adjective Pertaining to, or resembling, a mastodon; as, mastodontic dimensions. Everett.

Mastodynia, Mastodyny noun [ New Latin mastodynia , from Greek masto`s the breast + ... pain.] (Medicine) Pain occuring in the mamma or female breast, -- a form of neuralgia.

Mastoid adjective [ Greek ...; masto`s the breast + ... form: confer French mastoïde .] (Anat.) (a) Resembling the nipple or the breast; -- applied specifically to a process of the temporal bone behind the ear. (b) Pertaining to, or in the region of, the mastoid process; mastoidal.

Mastoidal adjective Same as Mastoid .

Mastoiditis noun [ New Latin See Mastoid , and -itis .] (Medicine) Inflammation in the mastoid process of the temporal bone.

Mastology noun [ Greek masto`s the breast + -logy : confer French mastologie .] The natural history of Mammalia.