magisterial

A person who is magisterial can be distinguished and grand, or possibly just conceited and bossy. You will learn a lot if you listen to a magisterial presentation of early American history.

The Latin word for teacher is magister, so think of magisterial as describing a person with the great authority of a teacher or learned person. It can also mean related to the office of magistrate — think of magisterial documents or inquiries into a matter. If, however, someone calls you magisterial, he or she may think you are a bit pompous. It will irritate you if a person speaks to you in a magisterial tone!

Definitions of magisterial
  1. adjective
    of or relating to a magistrate
    “official magisterial functions”
  2. adjective
    used of a person's appearance or behavior; befitting an eminent person
    “she reigned in magisterial beauty”
    synonyms: distinguished, grand, imposing
    dignified
    having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance
  3. adjective
    offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power
    “managed the employees in an aloof magisterial way”
    synonyms: autocratic, bossy, dominating, high-and-mighty, peremptory
    domineering
    tending to domineer
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week