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[maj-uh-steer-ee-uh l] /ˌmædʒ əˈstɪər i əl/
of, relating to, or befitting a master; authoritative; weighty; of importance or consequence:
a magisterial pronouncement by the director of the board.
imperious; domineering:
a magisterial tone of command.
of or befitting a magistrate or the office of a magistrate:
The judge spoke with magisterial gravity.
of the rank of a magistrate:
magisterial standing.
Origin of magisterial
1625-35; < Late Latin magisteriālis; see magisterium, -al1
Related forms
magisterially, adverb
magisterialness, noun
unmagisterial, adjective
Can be confused
magisterial, magistrate, majestic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for magisterial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A magisterial study it was, which not one of our "young masters" could paint.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Such was the man entrusted with more than magisterial power.

  • I have had the magisterial account already, and now wish to have yours.

    Dulcibel Henry Peterson
  • "Then I am more learned than they are," said l'Encuerado, with a magisterial air.

  • It was in this magisterial attitude that he began the examination.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • "Let the recognizances be estreated," was the magisterial comment.

    The Magnificent Montez Horace Wyndham
  • I never allow anything to interfere with my magisterial duties.

    Dick Cheveley W. H. G. Kingston
  • There is little that is official or magisterial about the volumes.

    John Forster Percy Hethrington Fitzgerald
British Dictionary definitions for magisterial


commanding; authoritative
domineering; dictatorial
of or relating to a teacher or person of similar status
of or relating to a magistrate
Derived Forms
magisterially, adverb
magisterialness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin magisteriālis, from magister master
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 magisterial

1630s, from Medieval Latin magisterialis "of or pertaining to the office of magistrate, director, or teacher," from Late Latin magisterius "having authority of a magistrate," from magister "chief, director" (see master (n.)). Related: Magisterially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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