[mas-tuh-ree, mah-stuh-]

noun, plural mas·ter·ies for 1, 4.

command or grasp, as of a subject: a mastery of Italian.
superiority or victory: mastery over one's enemies.
the act of mastering.
expert skill or knowledge.
the state of being master; power of command or control.

Origin of mastery

1175–1225; master + -y3; replacing Middle English maistrie < Old French
Related formsnon·mas·ter·y, noun, plural non·mas·ter·ies.pre·mas·ter·y, nounre·mas·ter·y, noun, plural re·mas·ter·ies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mastery

Contemporary Examples of mastery

Historical Examples of mastery

  • I refer, of course, to man's mastery over the latent forces of Nature.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • For his love's sake, he must seize on this opportunity given of fate to him for mastery.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mastery of his rules will not help another to win business success.

  • The latter is complete—it is the mastery of an originator of style.

  • There remains yet the fifth act in which one would think they should show their mastery.

    The Praise of Folly

    Desiderius Erasmus

British Dictionary definitions for mastery


noun plural -teries

full command or understanding of a subject
outstanding skill; expertise
the power of command; control
victory or superiority
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 mastery

early 13c., mesterie, "condition of being a master," also "superiority, victory;" from Old French maistrie, from maistre "master" (see master (n.)). Meaning "intellectual command" (of a topic, etc.) is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper