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Master Vs. Mistress: How Are These Words Connected?

Master Vs. Mistress: How Are These Words Connected?

Did you know that there are many feminine and masculine words in English? Perfect examples of such words are master and mistress. That said, our focus is on master vs. mistress.

A master is someone with control over something or someone. This noun refers to the owner of an animal or slave or the captain of a merchant ship. In contrast, a mistress is a woman with great control, authority, or ownership over something or someone. Mistress is the feminine version of a master.

This post focuses on the definitions, differences, and uses of the words master and mistress. You will also learn a lot more from the example sentences with the words master and mistress. Let’s dive straight in!

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Definitions Of Master And Mistress

People often use words like master and mistress without full knowledge of their meanings and proper usage. So, before getting into their usage, let us define the words master and mistress.

Definitions Of Master

This noun refers to a person with control over something or someone, especially a male.

A master is also someone with the power or ability to use, control, or dispose of something, like a master of languages.

Another definition of a master is someone that owns an animal or an enslaved person. The nautical definition of a master is “the captain of a merchant ship, also referred to as a master mariner.

A master is also someone that employs others. Another source defines a master as someone with expert knowledge of something, an expert at something, like a master of karate.

A master is a tradesman qualified to teach apprentices or a skilled artist.

Sometimes this word refers to a dominant sexual partner in a BDSM relationship.

Definitions of Master Based on Different Contexts

In sports, the master is a title awarded to a bridge or chess player that has won or placed in a particular position in an officially recognized tournament. So, a victor or conqueror at a sport, activity, or skill is also called a master.

In the judiciary system, a master is “a presiding officer” or “a court officer to whom some or all case issues are referred for him to take testimonies and write reports to the court.”

In academics, a master is a person awarded a master’s degree. A master’s degree is a postgraduate degree undertaken after a bachelor’s degree. So, a person with a master’s degree in psychology is a master of psychology.

In music or art, a master is the original recording of a song, manuscript, drawing, or document from which other copies are made.

In machinery, a master is a device that controls others or a process operating similarly.

In computers, a master is an original data file from which duplicates are made.

In photography, a master is a film used for making large quantities of prints, also known as a copy negative.

A master is also a vessel with a specific number of masts, like a three-master vessel.

The dated definitions of the word master are:

  • The male head of a household
  • An employer
  • A man or boy
  • The head of a school or a male teacher, like a schoolmaster
  • A work of art produced by a master

As an adjective, the word master means:

  • Being skilled or an expert, like an exercise master
  • Chief or principal, like a master list or master key

As a verb, to master means:

  • To become adept at something, like to master a language
  • To conquer, like to master your pride
  • To rule or direct as a master, like to master a crew
  • To produce a master file, document, recording, or tape

Definitions Of Mistress

A mistress is a woman with power, authority, or ownership over something or someone, like the mistress of a household.

Refer to this word as a female companion to a man with control, authority, or ownership. The female companion to a master.

A mistress is a woman with an ongoing secret sexual relationship with an openly married or engaged person. A mistress may also be in a relationship with a man in a public relationship with someone else for financial assistance.

Also, a mistress is the dominant female sexual partner in a BDSM relationship. A mistress is a female school teacher (in Britain). In Scotland, a mistress is a married woman.

A mistress is a woman skilled in something or one with mastery over it, like a mistress of a language.

A mistress is a female regarded with love and devotion, one with command over someone’s heart, a sweetheart, or a beloved object.

The former title prefixed to a woman’s name, like miss or Mrs. For example, Mistress Cate.

How To Properly Use Master And Mistress In A Sentence

These words have several definitions, as the section above shows. Here are some things to remember when using them in sentences:

How To Use The Word Master

You can use this word in a sentence as a noun, verb, or adjective. Use it as a noun to mean:

  • A male employer
  • A skilled practitioner
  • A male with authority, control, and power over something
  • An owner of animals or slaves
  • A captain of a merchant ship
  • An original recording of a song, film, or document from which duplicates are made
  • A teacher
  • A victor in contests
  • A person with a master’s degree
  • Use it in a verb to describe the following actions:
  • To gain proficiency in a field or skill
  • To overcome
  • To comprehend
  • To preside over
  • To tame

Use it as an adjective to mean:

  • Being skilled at something
  • Being important
  • To do with the first copy or series of copies

How To Use The Word Mistress

This word is predominantly a noun. So, use it as such to mean:

  • A female love interest in an extramarital relationship
  • A female teacher
  • A female companion of a master
  • A female with authority or skill in a specific field
  • A high-status prostitute
  • A polite way to refer to a woman

Master vs. Mistress: Are They Connected?

The connection between these words is that mistress is the female version of the word master. You can see this from their definitions. Another connection is that both words have Old French and Latin origins. Finally, these words have two syllables each.

Master vs. Mistress: Three Key Differences

Besides the connections above, these words also differ. Check out the following differences:


The proper pronunciation for mistress is “/mis-tris/,” while the correct way to say master is “/mah-ster/.”


Master comes from the Old English word “maegester,” meaning “a man with authority and control, teacher, or tutor.” It also comes from the Latin “magister” and Old French “maistre.” In contrast, mistress comes from Old French “maistresse,” meaning female teacher, lover, housekeeper, or governess.”

Part of Speech

Another difference is that master is a noun, adjective, and verb. In contrast, mistress is predominantly a noun.

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List Of Examples Of Master And Mistress Use In Sentences

The above information will help you use these words in sentences. Here are some examples:

Example sentences of the word master

  1. The schoolmaster asked the students to go back home.
  2. David is a master of languages.
  3. We consulted the master of psychology about the revision questions.
  4. Hellen went to school to master arts.
  5. The new master taught the students how to draw using natural brushes.

Example sentences of the word mistress

  1. The mistress left the compound early.
  2. Samantha confronted her husband’s mistress.
  3. Helena is a mistress of biology.
  4. The dog attacked the mistress last night.
  5. The master and his mistress traveled to Italy last month.

Word Usage Posts

Conclusion: Master vs. Mistress

Master and mistress are correct English words. Master is the masculine version of the name mistress and vice versa. However, both words have other unrelated meanings. Feel free to use them in sentences in different contexts.