AskDefine | Define maestro

Dictionary Definition

maestro n : an artist of consummate skill; "a master of the violin"; "one of the old masters" [syn: master] [also: maestri (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



Italian, from Latin magister, magistr-, master.


  1. A master in some art, especially a composer or conductor.



master in some art



(feminine: maestra)
  1. teacher (male)
  2. master (male)


it-adj maestr



  1. teacher (male).
  2. master.
  3. (master) craftsman.


  1. expert, master.

Extensive Definition

Maestro (or "Maestra" for women) means "master" or "teacher" in the Italian language. It is used in English to designate a master in an artistic field - usually someone who has gained enough knowledge within that field to be able to teach students successfully, though the term may sometimes be conferred through sheer respect for an artist's works. The term is most commonly used in the context of Western classical music. This is associated with the overall heavy use of Italian vocabulary for classical music terms. Composers, orchestra conductors, and music teachers are frequently given the title. The word is less commonly, but sometimes, used in other fine arts such as painting and sculpture, but there "master", as in Old Master, is far more common. Maestro is used in the sport of fencing, for a fencing master, and may be used in other sports to convey high esteem for an individual's skill.
When referring to a master musician in the music traditions of the Middle East, Ostad or Ustad is the preferred term in the English language. Ostad, Ustad, Ostaz, Ustaz, Usta — all synonymous with maestro — is the word used in the Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Malay, Urdu and Hindi languages to denote a scholar or master of high skill, especially a musician. In India Pandit is an honorary title for an expert musician; the Muslims in India, however, use the title Ustad instead. Pangrawit is used to denote a master of Javanese music.

Popular culture

In "The Maestro" episode of the popular sitcom Seinfeld, and various other epidodes, a minor characater named Bobb Cobb is shown. Bobb, being a conductor, prefers to be called "The Maestro" by everyone else, and is offended when not called so.

External links

maestro in German: Ustad
maestro in French: Maestro
maestro in Dutch: Maestro (kunst)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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