Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

mastermind

[mas-ter-mahynd, mah-ster-]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to plan and direct (a usually complex project or activity), especially skillfully: Two colonels had masterminded the revolt.
noun
  1. a person who originates or is primarily responsible for the execution of a particular idea, project, or the like: the masterminds of company policy.

Origin of mastermind

First recorded in 1710–20; master + mind
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mastermind

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He said to Professor Garet, "All right, mastermind, untie me."

  • As for Salem, it looks as though a mastermind had been at work, I see it in everything.

    No Defense, Complete

    Gilbert Parker

  • Ravick seemed to have gotten the idea that Joe Kivelson was the mastermind of the hunters' cabal against him.

    Four-Day Planet

    Henry Beam Piper

  • A banquet extraordinary was shortly to take place, and M. Sapin, the mastermind, came to beg of Regali the recipe for his ragout.

  • His mastermind comprehended the importance and necessity of combined and harmonious effort.


British Dictionary definitions for mastermind

mastermind

verb
  1. (tr) to plan and direct (a complex undertaking)he masterminded the robbery
noun
  1. a person of great intelligence or executive talent, esp one who directs an undertaking
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

Word Origin and History for mastermind

n.

1720, "an outstanding intellect," from master (n.) + mind (n.). Meaning "head of a criminal enterprise" is first attested 1872. As a verb from 1940. Related: Masterminded; masterminding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.