A mastermind is a brilliant thinker with original ideas. You might be a chess mastermind or a criminal mastermind: either way, people will not want to oppose you.

Inventors, intellectuals, and famous geniuses call all be called masterminds, from Albert Einstein to theoretical physicist Dr. Shirley Jackson. You could also call people who are successful in their fields — especially if they come up with new ways of doing things — masterminds. Even a brilliant jewel thief might be called a safe-cracking mastermind. As a verb, to mastermind is to act as the leader of some complex plan or scheme.

Definitions of mastermind

n someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality

Einstein, brain, brainiac, genius
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an unusually gifted or intelligent (young) person; someone whose talents excite wonder and admiration
boy wonder
an extremely talented young male person
child prodigy, infant prodigy, wonder child
a prodigy whose talents are recognized at an early age
girl wonder
an extremely talented young female person
Type of:
intellect, intellectual
a person who uses the mind creatively

n someone who creates new things

conceiver, originator
Sir Walter Raleigh
English courtier (a favorite of Elizabeth I) who tried to colonize Virginia; introduced potatoes and tobacco to England (1552-1618)
Cecil John Rhodes
British colonial financier and statesman in South Africa; made a fortune in gold and diamond mining; helped colonize the territory now known as Zimbabwe; he endowed annual fellowships for British Commonwealth and United States students to study at Oxford University (1853-1902)
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beginner, father, founder, founding father
a person who founds or establishes some institution
groundbreaker, innovator, pioneer, trailblazer
someone who helps to open up a new line of research or technology or art
mover, proposer
(parliamentary procedure) someone who makes a formal motion
proposer, suggester
someone who advances a suggestion or proposal
one of a group of founders
coloniser, colonizer
someone who helps to found a colony
a woman founder
someone who proposes a candidate for appointment or election
Type of:
a person who grows or makes or invents things

v plan and direct (a complex undertaking)

“he masterminded the robbery”
direct, engineer, orchestrate, organise, organize
plan and oversee the development and details of
Type of:
make plans for something

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