1. Of or pertaining to the manner of a master of an art, technique, profession, or craft; masterly.
    The brushwork on the skin tones was masterful.
  2. In the manner of a master; very skillful.
    The masterful conducting ensured the orchestra gave of their best.
  3. Having or showing the qualities of a master vis-a-vis a dependent or subordinate; authoritative; domineering.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter 14, Rochester to Jane by the fire: you not agree with me that I have a right to be a little masterful, abrupt; perhaps exacting, sometimes, on the grounds I stated...
    • 1868-69, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Chapter 38:
      When John spoke in that masterful tone, Meg always obeyed, and never regretted her docility.
    • 1908, E. M. Forster, A Room with a View, Chapter 18, Lucy to Mr. Beebe about Cecil: was that he is so masterful. I found that he wouldn't let me go my own way.
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