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Master vs. Mistress: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"Master" denotes a male with control or expertise, while "Mistress" refers to a female in a position of authority or a woman in an extramarital relationship.
Master vs. Mistress

Key Differences

"Master" traditionally refers to a man with authority, skill, or ownership. "Mistress" denotes a woman in a position of authority or control, often with nuances of illicit relationships.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
In historical contexts, "master" was used to address or refer to a male teacher or employer. "Mistress" was similarly used for females, but has evolved to imply a woman in an extramarital affair.
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Shumaila Saeed
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"Master" is also used to denote a high level of skill or proficiency in a particular field. "Mistress," in contrast, less frequently conveys expertise, more often implying control or illicit relationships.
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Nov 22, 2023
In some modern contexts, "master" signifies a person with mastery or an academic degree. "Mistress," while also indicating a female teacher, has taken on more romantic or scandalous connotations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023
"Master" can be used in various contexts without negative connotations. "Mistress," however, often carries a social stigma due to its association with extramarital affairs.
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Nov 22, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Gender Association

Male
Female
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Historical Usage

Male teacher, employer
Female teacher, employer
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Nov 22, 2023

Modern Connotations

Skill, proficiency, academic degree
Control, extramarital affair
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Contextual Flexibility

Wide-ranging, usually positive
Narrower, often with negative implications
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Implication of Expertise

Commonly implies expertise
Less commonly used for expertise
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Master and Mistress Definitions

Master

A man with authority or ownership.
He was the master of the estate.
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Nov 22, 2023

Mistress

A woman who commands or oversees something.
She was the mistress of her own business.
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Nov 22, 2023

Master

Someone highly skilled in a particular field.
She studied with a master of classical piano.
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Mistress

A woman who has a continuing sexual relationship with a man who is married to someone else.
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Master

A degree signifying advanced knowledge.
He earned his master's degree in engineering.
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Mistress

A woman in a position of authority, control, or ownership, as the head of a household
"Thirteen years had seen her mistress of Kellynch Hall" (Jane Austen).
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Master

A male teacher or mentor.
The students respected their master in martial arts.
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Nov 22, 2023

Mistress

A woman who owns or keeps an animal
A cat sitting in its mistress's lap.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A person who dominates in a specific context.
In chess, he is a true master.
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Nov 22, 2023

Mistress

A woman who owns a slave.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

The owner or keeper of an animal
The dog ran toward its master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman with ultimate control over something
The mistress of her own mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

The owner of a slave.
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Mistress

A nation or country that has supremacy over others
Great Britain, once the mistress of the seas.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who has control over or ownership of something
The master of a large tea plantation.
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Mistress

Something personified as female that directs or reigns
"my mistress ... the open road" (Robert Louis Stevenson).
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Master

An employer.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman who has mastered a skill or branch of learning
A mistress of the culinary art.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

The man who serves as the head of a household.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

Mistress Used formerly as a courtesy title when speaking to or of a woman.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who defeats another; a victor
I had to admit that I had met my master and so conceded the game.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

Chiefly British A woman schoolteacher.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who acts out the role of the dominating partner in a sadomasochistic relationship.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman, specifically one with great control, authority or ownership
Male equivalent: master
She was the mistress of the estate-mansion, and owned the horses.
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Master

The captain of a merchant ship. Also called master mariner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A female teacher
Male equivalent: master
Games mistress
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Master

One whose teachings or doctrines are accepted by followers.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

The other woman in an extramarital relationship, generally including sexual relations
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Master

Master(Christianity) Jesus.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A dominatrix
Male equivalent: master
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A male teacher, schoolmaster, or tutor.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman well skilled in anything, or having the mastery over it
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Master

One who holds a master's degree.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman regarded with love and devotion; a sweetheart
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An artist or performer of great and exemplary skill.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

(Scotland) A married woman; a wife
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An old master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

(obsolete) The jack in the game of bowls
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A worker qualified to teach apprentices and carry on the craft independently.
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Mistress

A female companion to a master a man with control, authority or ownership
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Master

An expert
A master of three languages.
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Mistress

Female equivalent of master
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Used formerly as a title for a man holding a naval office ranking next below a lieutenant on a warship.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

Female equivalent of mister
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Used as a title for a man who serves as the head or presiding officer of certain societies, clubs, orders, or institutions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

Of a woman: to master; to learn or develop to a high degree of proficiency.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Master Used as a title for any of various male officers having specified duties concerning the management of the British royal household.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

(intransitive) To act or take the role of a mistress.
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Master

Master Used as a courtesy title before the given or full name of a boy not considered old enough to be addressed as Mister.
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Mistress

A woman having power, authority, or ownership; a woman who exercises authority, is chief, etc.; the female head of a family, a school, etc.
The late queen's gentlewoman! a knight's daughter!To be her mistress' mistress!
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(Archaic) Used as a form of address for a man; mister.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman well skilled in anything, or having the mastery over it.
A letter desires all young wives to make themselves mistresses of Wingate's Arithmetic.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who is appointed to assist a court in the performance of certain legal functions, such as the taking of testimony and calculating damages in complex litigation. Also called special master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman regarded with love and devotion; she who has command over one's heart; a beloved object; a sweetheart.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Master A man who owns a pack of hounds or is the chief officer of a hunt.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman filling the place, but without the rights, of a wife; a woman having an ongoing usually exclusive sexual relationship with a man, who may provide her with financial support in return; a concubine; a loose woman with whom one consorts habitually; as, both his wife and his mistress attended his funeral.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An original, such as an original document or audio recording, from which copies can be made.
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Mistress

A title of courtesy formerly prefixed to the name of a woman, married or unmarried, but now superseded by the contracted forms, Mrs., for a married, and Miss, for an unmarried, woman.
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul).
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Of, relating to, or characteristic of a master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A married woman; a wife.
Several of the neighboring mistresses had assembled to witness the event of this memorable evening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Principal or predominant
A master plot.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

The old name of the jack at bowls.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Controlling all other parts of a mechanism
A master switch.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

To wait upon a mistress; to be courting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Highly skilled or proficient
A master thief.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

An adulterous woman; a woman who has an ongoing extramarital sexual relationship with a man
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Being an original from which copies are made.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman schoolteacher (especially one regarded as strict)
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To become very skilled in or knowledgeable about
Mastered the language in a year's study.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman master who directs the work of others
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To overcome or defeat
He finally mastered his addiction to drugs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman with control or authority.
She was the mistress of the house.
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Nov 22, 2023

Master

To produce a master copy of (an audio or video recording, for example).
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A woman in an extramarital relationship.
She was known as the mistress of a prominent figure.
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Nov 22, 2023

Master

Someone who has control over something or someone.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A female educator or teacher.
The schoolchildren loved their mistress.
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Nov 22, 2023

Master

The owner of an animal or slave.
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Oct 19, 2023

Mistress

A female owner of a pet or property.
The cat recognized its mistress immediately.
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Nov 22, 2023

Master

(nautical) The captain of a merchant ship; a master mariner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(dated) The head of a household.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Someone who employs others.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An expert at something.
Mark Twain was a master of fiction.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A tradesman who is qualified to teach apprentices.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(dated) A schoolmaster.
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Master

A skilled artist.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(dated) A man or a boy; mister. See Master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A master's degree; a type of postgraduate degree, usually undertaken after a bachelor degree.
She has a master in psychology.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A person holding such a degree.
He is a master of marine biology.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

The original of a document or of a recording.
The band couldn't find the master, so they re-recorded their tracks.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(film) The primary wide shot of a scene, into which the closeups will be edited later.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(legal) A parajudicial officer (such as a referee, an auditor, an examiner, or an assessor) specially appointed to help a court with its proceedings.
The case was tried by a master, who concluded that the plaintiffs were the equitable owners of the property....
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A device that is controlling other devices or is an authoritative source.
A master wheel
A master database
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(freemasonry) A person holding an office of authority, especially the presiding officer.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(by extension) A person holding a similar office in other civic societies.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(BDSM) A male dominant.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A vessel having a specified number of masts.
A two-master
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Masterful.
A master performance
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Main, principal or predominant.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Highly skilled.
Master batsman
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Master

Original.
Master copy
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(intransitive) To be a master.highly ambiguous, master in what sense?
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(transitive) To become the master of; to subject to one's will, control, or authority; to conquer; to overpower; to subdue.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

(transitive) To learn to a high degree of proficiency.
It took her years to master the art of needlecraft.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To own; to possess.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To make a master copy of.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To earn a Master's degree.
He mastered in English at the state college.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A vessel having (so many) masts; - used only in compounds; as, a two-master.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A male person having another living being so far subject to his will, that he can, in the main, control his or its actions; - formerly used with much more extensive application than now.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who uses, or controls at will, anything inanimate; as, to be master of one's time.
Master of a hundred thousand drachms.
We are masters of the sea.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

One who has attained great skill in the use or application of anything; as, a master of oratorical art.
Great masters of ridicule.
No care is taken to improve young men in their own language, that they may thoroughly understand and be masters of it.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A title given by courtesy, now commonly pronounced mĭster, except when given to boys; - sometimes written Mister, but usually abbreviated to Mr.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A young gentleman; a lad, or small boy.
Where there are little masters and misses in a house, they are impediments to the diversions of the servants.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Master

The commander of a merchant vessel; - usually called captain. Also, a commissioned officer in the navy ranking next above ensign and below lieutenant; formerly, an officer on a man-of-war who had immediate charge, under the commander, of sailing the vessel.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A person holding an office of authority among the Freemasons, esp. the presiding officer; also, a person holding a similar office in other civic societies.
Throughout the city by the master gate.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Master

To become the master of; to subject to one's will, control, or authority; to conquer; to overpower; to subdue.
Obstinacy and willful neglects must be mastered, even though it cost blows.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Master

To gain the command of, so as to understand or apply; to become an adept in; as, to master a science.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To own; to posses.
The wealthThat the world masters.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

To be skillful; to excel.
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An artist of consummate skill;
A master of the violin
One of the old masters
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A person who has general authority over others
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

A combatant who is able to defeat rivals
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Directs the work of other
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Presiding officer of a school
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An original creation (i.e., an audio recording) from which copies can be made
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An officer who is licensed to command a merchant ship
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Someone who holds a master's degree from academic institution
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

An authority qualified to teach apprentices
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Key that secures entrance everywhere
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Be or become completely proficient or skilled in;
She mastered Japanese in less than two years
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Master

Get on top of; deal with successfully;
He overcame his shyness
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Oct 19, 2023

Master

Have dominance or the power to defeat over;
Her pain completely mastered her
The methods can master the problems
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Master

Have a firm understanding or knowledge of; be on top of;
Do you control these data?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can "master" be a title in academia?

Yes, like a Master's degree.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can "mistress" be used in a non-romantic context?

Yes, but it's less common now.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "master" used in martial arts?

Yes, for a highly skilled practitioner.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can "master" denote a young boy?

Yes, in traditional or formal contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "mistress" still used for female teachers?

It's outdated and less common today.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Does "master" imply expertise?

Often, especially in skill-based contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Does "mistress" always imply infidelity?

Not always, but it's a common connotation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "master" gender-specific?

Historically, yes, typically referring to males.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "mistress" a formal title?

Not commonly in modern usage.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

How has the use of "mistress" evolved?

It has shifted more towards romantic implications.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can "mistress" refer to a property owner?

Yes, but it's less common than "master."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Does "mistress" have historical significance?

Yes, in terms of female authority and education roles.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "mistress" used in professional settings?

Rarely, due to its romantic connotations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "master" used in the arts?

Yes, for an expert in an artistic field.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can "mistress" be empowering?

Context-dependent, but often overshadowed by other connotations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Can "master" refer to a pet owner?

Yes, especially for male pet owners.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Does "master" have negative connotations?

Generally, no, unless used in contexts of dominance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Does "mistress" imply control?

It can, especially in historical contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

How is "master" used in crafts?

To denote a highly skilled craftsman.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

Is "master" appropriate for all age groups?

Typically, yes, in relevant contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 22, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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FPTP vs. PRFPTP vs. PR
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 16, 2024
FPTP (First Past the Post) is a simple plurality voting system where the candidate with most votes wins; PR (Proportional Representation) allocates seats based on the proportion of votes each party receives.
Japanese Eyes vs. Chinese EyesJapanese Eyes vs. Chinese Eyes
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Japanese Eyes and Chinese Eyes refer to linguistic structures in Japanese and Chinese respectively, each reflecting unique aspects of grammar and syntax.
Pulley vs. SheavePulley vs. Sheave
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 4, 2024
A pulley is a wheel on an axle designed to support movement and change of direction of a taut cable, while a sheave is the wheel part of a pulley system that specifically interacts with the cable.
Extent vs. ScopeExtent vs. Scope
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Extent" refers to the degree or range something covers, while "Scope" relates to the breadth or range of coverage, influence, or effect.
2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors2 Pole Motors vs. 4 Pole Motors
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
2 Pole Motors have one pair of magnetic poles and run at higher speeds, while 4 Pole Motors have two pairs of poles and operate at lower speeds, offering higher torque.
Login vs. LogonLogin vs. Logon
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
"Login" and "Logon" are often used interchangeably to describe the process of gaining access to a computer system, but "login" can also refer to the credentials used for access.
Poem vs. PoetryPoem vs. Poetry
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A poem is a piece of writing that expresses ideas and emotions with a distinctive style and rhythm; poetry is the art form of writing such pieces.
Nuclear Family vs. Joint FamilyNuclear Family vs. Joint Family
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 9, 2024
Nuclear Family is a family unit consisting of parents and their children. Joint Family is a larger family structure comprising parents, children, and other relatives living together.
NM3 vs. M3NM3 vs. M3
Hifza NasirHifza Nasir
April 19, 2024
NM3 measures gas volume under Normal conditions (0°C and 1.01325 bar), while M3 measures volume under the conditions at which it is measured, without standard adjustment.
Vital Proteins Collagen vs. OrganikaVital Proteins Collagen vs. Organika
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 9, 2024
Vital Proteins Collagen is a brand offering collagen supplements for health and beauty, while Organika is a broader health and wellness brand with diverse products including collagen.
Data Roaming vs. Cellular DataData Roaming vs. Cellular Data
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Data Roaming allows usage of mobile network services outside of the home network area, while Cellular Data is using mobile services within the home network.
Catapult vs. TrebuchetCatapult vs. Trebuchet
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 4, 2024
A catapult is a ballistic device using tension or torsion to launch projectiles, while a trebuchet is a type of catapult using a counterweight for greater force and distance.
Slazenger Logo vs. Puma LogoSlazenger Logo vs. Puma Logo
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
The Slazenger logo features a panther, symbolizing agility and tradition, while the Puma logo depicts a leaping puma, representing speed and strength.
Fluid vs. LiquidFluid vs. Liquid
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 13, 2024
Fluids encompass all substances that flow (including gases and liquids), while liquids specifically refer to fluids with a definite volume but no fixed shape, adapting to their container.
Pycharm Community vs. Pycharm ProPycharm Community vs. Pycharm Pro
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
PyCharm Community is a free, open-source IDE for Python development, while PyCharm Pro is a paid version with additional advanced features like web development support and database tools.
5'11" vs. 6'0"5’11” vs. 6’0″
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 4, 2024
The difference between 5'11" and 6'0" is one inch, with 5'11" being 71 inches and 6'0" being 72 inches tall.
Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5Gorilla Glass 3 vs. Gorilla Glass 5
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 1, 2024
Gorilla Glass 3 offers improved scratch resistance and durability compared to its predecessors, while Gorilla Glass 5 focuses on enhanced drop protection and toughness.
Explain vs. DefineExplain vs. Define
Dua FatimaDua Fatima
June 22, 2024
Explaining involves detailing or clarifying a concept, often including context and examples, whereas defining means stating the exact meaning of a word or phrase, typically in a concise manner.
DDR3 vs. DDR3LDDR3 vs. DDR3L
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
January 29, 2024
DDR3 is a type of RAM with standard voltage (1.5V), while DDR3L is a low voltage variant (1.35V) compatible with both 1.5V and 1.35V slots.
Poster vs. InfographicPoster vs. Infographic
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
A Poster is a large printed image or notice for public display, while an Infographic is a visual representation of information or data.
Crane vs. HeronCrane vs. Heron
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
June 24, 2024
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds known for their elaborate dances, while herons are typically more solitary, stealth hunters with a distinctive S-shaped neck.
NDM vs. FTPNDM vs. FTP
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 15, 2024
NDM (Network Data Mover) automates and secures data transfers across networks, while FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol for transferring files between computers.
Traditional Trade vs. Modern TradeTraditional Trade vs. Modern Trade
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
December 25, 2023
Traditional trade involves local, small-scale, often personalized commerce; modern trade is characterized by large-scale, technology-driven, and impersonal retail environments.
PPM vs. PPMVPPM vs. PPMV
Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
February 10, 2024
PPM (parts per million) measures the concentration of one substance within a million parts of another. PPMV (parts per million by volume) expresses gas concentration as volume per million volumes of air.

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