mastery
Pronunciation
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmæstəɹi/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈmɑːst(ə)ɹi/
Noun

mastery (uncountable)

  1. The position or authority of a master; dominion; command; supremacy; superiority.
    • If divided by mountains, they will fight for the mastery of the passages of the tops.
  2. Superiority in war or competition; victory; triumph; preeminence.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: Printed [by John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938 ↗, book II, canto XII, stanza 31, pages 370–371 ↗:
      They were faire Ladies, till they fondly ſtriu’d / With th’Heliconian maides for mayſtery; / Of whom they ouer-comen, were depriu’d / Of their proud beautie, and th’one moyity / Transform’d to fiſh, for their bold ſurquedry, / But th’vpper halfe their hew retayned ſtill, / And their ſweet skill in wonted melody; / Which euer after they abuſd to ill, / T’allure weake traueillers, whom gotten they did kill.
    • Book of Exodus, xxxii. 18
      The voice of them that shout for mastery.
    • First Epistle to the Corinthians, ix. 25.
      Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.
    • 1610, Ben Jonson, The Alchemist
      O, but to ha' gulled him / Had been a mastery.
  3. (obsolete) Contest for superiority.
  4. (obsolete) A masterly operation; a feat.
    • I will do a maistrie ere I go.
  5. (obsolete) The philosopher's stone.
  6. The act or process of mastering; the state of having mastered; expertise.
    • He could attain to a mastery in all languages.
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§173”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: […] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, […], OCLC 1161614482 ↗:
      The learning and mastery of a tongue, being unpleasant in itself, should not be cumbered with other difficulties.
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