Mastery refers to having great skill at something or total dominance over something. If you are fluent in French, you have a mastery of the language. If you win every game of chess, you show a mastery of the game.

Mastery is from master, who is someone knowledgeable about a subject, like a master painter. Masters are also people with power — butlers sometimes call their employer master. Mastery refers to a similar power or ability. Beethoven showed mastery in composing. Shakespeare displayed mastery in writing. Apple has had mastery over the field of computers and smartphones. Often, both senses are mixed: if someone has mastery over a field skill-wise, they probably have mastery in terms of dominance too.

Definitions of mastery
  1. noun
    great skillfulness and knowledge of some subject or activity
    synonyms: command, control
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    type of:
    the state of being cognitively skillful
  2. noun
    the act of mastering or subordinating someone
    synonyms: subordination
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    type of:
    social control by dominating
  3. noun
    power to dominate or defeat
    mastery of the seas”
    synonyms: domination, supremacy
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    superiority, transcendence, transcendency
    the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits
    type of:
    ascendance, ascendancy, ascendence, ascendency, control, dominance
    the state that exists when one person or group has power over another
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