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This article is about the loanword. For people whose family name is or was Meister, see Meister (surname). For The Transformer, see Jazz (Transformers).
For the guitarist for The Brilliant Green, see The Brilliant Green.

Meister means master in German (as in master craftsman, or as an honorific title such as Meister Eckhart). The word is akin to maestro. In sports, Meister is used for the current national, European or world champion (Deutscher Meister, *Europameister, Weltmeister). Many modern day German police forces use the title Meister. During the Second World War, Meister was the highest enlisted rank of the Ordnungspolizei.

Meister has been borrowed into English slang, where it is used in compound nouns. A person referred to as “Meister” is one who has extensive theoretical knowledge and practical skills in his profession, business, or some other kind of work or activity. For example, a “puzzle-meister” would be someone highly skilled at solving puzzles. These neologisms sometimes have a sarcastic intent (for example, “stubble-meister” for someone with a short, neat beard or “crier-meister” for someone who often cries).


Meister is derived from the Latin word "magister" (teacher), the Yiddish "mayster," and the German "meister" from Old High German "meistar."[1]

In Germany and Austria, the word Meister is a title in the crafts guilds, in which workers go up in rank from a Geselle (journeyman) to become a "Meister" or master of their trade.


  1. ^ "Meister". Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (online version). Merriam-Webster, Inc. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 

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