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

adj of or relating to a magistrate

“official magisterial functions”

adj used of a person's appearance or behavior; befitting an eminent person

“she reigned in magisterial beauty”
distinguished, grand, imposing
having or expressing dignity; especially formality or stateliness in bearing or appearance

adj offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power

“managed the employees in an aloof magisterial way”
autocratic, bossy, dominating, high-and-mighty, peremptory
tending to domineer

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