- a person who is thoroughly experienced or exceptionally skilled in a profession, art, etc.: a past master at chess.
- a person who has held the office of master in a guild, lodge, etc.
Origin of past master
Examples from the Web for past master
These are laws of sincerity which not even a past-master in the laws of the stage can afford to neglect.Another Sheaf
I can speak on the matter like a professor, for I was past-master in the science.My New Curate
It was Louis Laplante, that past-master in the art of diplomatic deception.Lords of the North
A. C. Laut
He was keen of wit and a past-master in the delicate art of flattery.The Man of the Desert
Grace Livingston Hill
"You're certainly a past-master at making a mess of things," William continued.Otherwise Phyllis
- a person with talent for, or experience in, a particular activitya past master of tact
- a person who has held the office of master in a Freemasons' lodge, guild, etc
Idioms and Phrases with past master
A person who is thoroughly experienced or exceptionally skilled in some activity or craft. For example, We're lucky to get Ella, because she's a past master at fundraising. This expression probably alludes to the original literal meaning, that is, one who formerly held the post of master in a lodge or other organization. Although past mistress was used for an exceptionally skilled woman in the mid-1800s, it is heard less often today, master serving for both sexes. [Mid-1800s]