• synonyms


[task-mas-ter, tahsk-mah-ster]
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  1. a person whose function it is to assign tasks, especially burdensome ones, to others.
  2. a person who supervises rigorously the work of others.
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Origin of taskmaster

First recorded in 1520–30; task + master
Related formstask·mas·ter·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for taskmaster

Historical Examples

  • There the prisoners are at ease together; They hear not the voice of the taskmaster.

    Select Masterpieces of Biblical Literature


  • The taskmaster does not now interfere with him as he was wont to do when he first arrived.

    The Pirate City

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • What he needed was a taskmaster like you to call him to terms now and then.

  • But as soon as the taskmaster has departed, even a pretence of work ceases.

  • But when the sun set she claimed her freedom; and her taskmaster did not dare to say her nay.

British Dictionary definitions for taskmaster


  1. a person, discipline, etc, that enforces work, esp hard or continuous workhis teacher is a hard taskmaster
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Derived Formstaskmistress, fem n
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 taskmaster


1520s, from task (n.) + master (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper