Words related to master

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "great."

It forms all or part of: acromegaly; Almagest; Charlemagne; maestro; magisterial; magistral; magistrate; Magna Carta; magnate; magnitude; magnum; magnanimity; magnanimous; magni-; Magnificat; magnificence; magnificent; magnify; magniloquence; magniloquent; Magnus; maharajah; maharishi; mahatma; Mahayana; Maia; majesty; major; major-domo; majority; majuscule; master; maxim; maximum; may (v.2) "to take part in May Day festivities;" May; mayor; mega-; megalo-; mickle; Mister; mistral; mistress; much; omega.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Armenian mets "great;" Sanskrit mahat- "great, mazah- "greatness;" Avestan mazant- "great;" Hittite mekkish "great, large;" Greek megas "great, large;" Latin magnus "great, large, much, abundant," major "greater," maximus "greatest;" Middle Irish mag, maignech "great, large;" Middle Welsh meith "long, great."
boss (n.1)
"overseer, one who employs or oversees workers," 1640s, American English, from Dutch baas "a master," Middle Dutch baes, of obscure origin. If original sense was "uncle," perhaps it is related to Old High German basa "aunt," but some sources discount this theory.

The Dutch form baas is attested in English from 1620s as the standard title of a Dutch ship's captain. The word's popularity in U.S. may reflect egalitarian avoidance of master (n.) as well as the need to distinguish slave from free labor. The slang adjective meaning "excellent" is recorded in 1880s, revived, apparently independently, in teen and jazz slang in 1950s.
grandmaster (n.)
as a chess title, 1927, from grand (adj.) in the sense "chief, principal" + master (n.). Earlier (as two words) a title in Freemasonry (1724) and in military orders of knighthood (1550s).
headmaster (n.)
principal of a school or seminary, 1570s, from head (adj.) + master (n.).
kapellmeister (n.)
"conductor," 1838, German, literally "chapel master," from Kapelle "chapel" (also the name given to a band or orchestra), from Old High German kapella (9c.); see chapel (n.) + Meister "master" (see master (n.)).
magisterial (adj.)

1630s, "of or befitting to a master or teacher or one qualified to speak with authority," 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.)).

By 17c. often with a suggestion of "arrogant, imperious, domineering." Meaning "holding the office of a magistrate, proper to a magistrate" is from 1650s (see magistrate). Related: Magisterially.

magistral (adj.)

1570s, "forming part of the accepted course of teaching," a sense now obsolete, from Latin magistralis "of a master," from magister "chief, director" (see master (n.)). Meaning "authoritative; of, pertaining to, or befitting a master" is from c. 1600. In pharmacy, of a remedy, etc., "devised by a physician for a particular case, prepared for the occasion" (c. 1600).

magistrate (n.)
Origin and meaning of magistrate

late 14c., "a civil officer in charge of administering laws," also "office or function of a magistrate," from Old French magistrat, from Latin magistratus "a magistrate, public functionary," originally "magisterial rank or office," from magistrare "serve as a magistrate," from magister "chief, director" (see master (n.)). From late 17c. often meaning "justice of the peace" or other minor officials having criminal jurisdiction.


supposed to represent the colloquial African-American vernacular pronunciation of master (n.), from 1774. The form marse is attested by 1839.

masterful (adj.)

late 14c., maisterful, "fond of being a master, high-handed, despotic, controlling, imperious, overbearing, tyrannous," from master (n.) + -ful. Sense of "competent, masterly, expressing or indicating mastery" is from early 15c. That of "characterized by a master's skill" is from 1610s. Related: Masterfully. Compare Dutch meesterlijk, German meisterlich, Danish mesterlig.

masterful) (masterly. Some centuries ago both were used indifferently in either of two very different senses: (A) imperious or commanding or strong-willed, & (B) skilful or expert or practiced. The differentiation is now complete, -ful having the A & -ly the B meanings; & disregard of it is so obviously inconvenient, since the senses, though distinct, are not so far apart but that it may sometimes be uncertain which is meant, that it can only be put down to ignorance. [Fowler, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," 1926]