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See also: Mastermind



From master +‎ mind.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɑː.stə.mʌɪnd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmæs.tɚˌmaɪnd/
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mastermind (plural masterminds)

  1. A person with an extraordinary intellect or skill that is markedly superior to his or her peers.
    • 1840, Edgar Allan Poe, The Colloquy of Monos and Una:
      At long intervals some master-minds appeared, looking upon each advance in practical science as a retro-gradation in the true utility.
    • 2003, Steve Kemper, chapter 2, in Code Name Ginger: the Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World, →ISBN, page 34:
      His first outside hire wasn't an electronics whiz or a mechanical mastermind, but a young industrial designer, a creature hitherto unknown at DEKA.
  2. A person responsible for the highest level of planning and execution of a major operation.
    • 2007, Mark S. Hamm, chapter 6, in Terrorism as Crime: from Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond, →ISBN, page 196:
      The first was with none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM), mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.


  • German: Mastermind



mastermind (third-person singular simple present masterminds, present participle masterminding, simple past and past participle masterminded)

  1. To act in the role of mastermind.
    • 2007, Kevin Danaher et al., Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots, →ISBN, page 136:
      It would later be revealed that the corporation contributed over a quarter of a million dollars to the effort—a whopping 93 percent of the total coffer—and hired a team of media and political experts to mastermind it.
    • 2020 July 1, David Allen, “Signalling from Leeds along the S&C”, in Rail, page 78:
      Travelling over the route today, it is well to remember the ongoing role of the Friends of the S&C and the work of the late Ron Cotton. He masterminded its revival, thereby reversing the role he had been given by BR to bring about its closure.