masterful

masterful, domineering, imperious, peremptory, imperative are comparable when they apply to persons or their acts, utterances, and demands and mean governed by, or manifesting, a strong tendency to impose one's will on another.
One is masterful who by the strength and virility of his personality is able to enforce his will on others or who deals with affairs commandingly and com- pellingly
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the major was a masterful man; and I knew that he would not give orders for nothing— Kipling

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the man had such a masterful and magnetic personality . . . that it was impossible not to take fire at his ardor— Huxley

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One is domineering who tries to enforce his will or to make a show of his power by an overbearing or insolently tyrannical manner
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they are . .. not courageous, only quarrelsome; not determined, only obstinate; not masterful, only domineeringShaw

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the European nations, arrogant, domineering, and rapacious, have done little to recommend the name of Christianity in Asia and Africa— Inge

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One is imperious who by temperament or by position is fitted to command or who assumes the air or manner of such a person; the term implies more arrogance than masterful and less insolence than domineering
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this ancient despot—this imperious old Louis XIV in a black front and a cap and ribbon— Thackeray

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one could not have passed him on the street without feeling his great physical force and his imperious will— Gather

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One is peremptory who insists, often with curtness, on an immediate response to his commands; the term usually implies authoritativeness and a refusal to brook disobedience or delay or to entertain objections however valid
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the general issued a peremptory summons

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two peremptory raps at the door— Shaw

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when we say of ... a man that he has a great deal of character, we generally mean that he has disciplined his temperament, his disposition, into strict obedience to the behests of duty; that he has clear and peremptory ideas about right and wrong— Browne 11

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One is imperative who, or whose behavior, is peremptory because of the urgency of the situation rather than because of a domineering tempera-ment
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"Go back!" cried the old man, with an imperative jerk of the head— M. E. Freeman

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he heard her imperative voice at the telephone; he heard her summon the doctor— Glasgow

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Analogous words: magisterial, *dictatorial, authoritarian, oracular, dogmatic, doctrinaire: arbitrary, *absolute, despotic, tyrannical

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • masterful — masterful, masterly Although both words have at some time in their history shared all the meanings involved here, they have settled down in more recent usage in such a way that masterful conveys meanings to do with dominance and power whereas… …   Modern English usage

  • masterful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) powerful and able to control others. 2) performed or performing very skilfully. DERIVATIVES masterfully adverb. USAGE Strictly, there is a distinction between masterful and masterly: both mean ‘very skilful’, but only masterful …   English terms dictionary

  • masterful — [mas′tər fəl] adj. 1. fond of acting the part of a master; domineering; imperious 2. having or showing the ability of a master; expert; skillful; masterly: usage objected to by some masterfully adv. masterfulness n. SYN. MASTERFUL implies such… …   English World dictionary

  • Masterful — Mas ter*ful, a. 1. Inclined to play the master; domineering; imperious; arbitrary. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Having the skill or power of a master; indicating or expressing power or mastery. [1913 Webster] His masterful, pale face. Mrs. Browning …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • masterful — index competent, deft, dictatorial, expert, indomitable, potent, practiced, proficient, tyrannous …   Law dictionary

  • masterful — (adj.) c.1300, fond of being a master, from MASTER (Cf. master) (n.) + FUL (Cf. ful). Sense evolved through having capabilities to command (c.1400) to characterized by a master s skill (1610s). Related: Masterfully …   Etymology dictionary

  • masterful — [adj] expert, skilled adept, adroit, clever, consummate, crack, crackerjack*, deft, dexterous, excellent, exquisite, fine, finished, first rate, master, masterly, preeminent, proficient, skillful, superior, superlative, supreme, transcendent;… …   New thesaurus

  • masterful — adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. inclined and usually competent to act as master b. suggestive of a domineering nature 2. having or reflecting the power and skill of a master • masterfully adverb • masterfulness noun Synonyms: masterful …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • masterful — adjective 1) a masterful man Syn: commanding, powerful, imposing, magisterial, lordly, authoritative; dominating, domineering, overbearing, overweening, imperious Ant: weak 2) t …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • masterful — masterfully, adv. masterfulness, n. /mas teuhr feuhl, mah steuhr /, adj. 1. dominating; self willed; imperious. 2. having or showing the qualities of a master; authoritative; powerful. 3. showing mastery or skill; masterly: a masterful… …   Universalium


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