Definition of mastermind in English:



  • 1A person with an outstanding intellect.

    ‘an eminent musical mastermind’
    • ‘It turns out that he's currently working on a project with my favorite Ethiopian musical mastermind.’
    • ‘One of the most refreshing aspects of the album is that this is a European album, from a German musical mastermind, that doesn't sound like it should remain on the European continent.’
    • ‘They called him a mastermind, they called him a genius… but he couldn't plan for this?’
    • ‘Guitarist and producer Dave is a PhD student at Columbia, and a musical mastermind.’
    • ‘If you think your dog has what it takes to be a canine genius, or your cat could be a feline mastermind, now is your opportunity to find out just what makes a clever pet.’
    genius, mind, intellect, author, architect, engineer, director, planner, organizer, deviser, originator, manager, prime mover, initiator, inventor
    brain, brains, bright spark
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person who plans and directs an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise.
      ‘McAvoy was the mastermind of the robbery’
      • ‘He believes the film makers clearly identified him as the mastermind behind the murder despite his acquittal at the Special Criminal Court.’
      • ‘The three accused are certainly not in the category of the political or military masterminds behind the conflicts and atrocities.’
      • ‘Police assume that this was about the time when the criminal masterminds abandoned their plan and ran off.’
      • ‘He knew that he'd not easily find the masterminds behind the attacks.’
      • ‘He might not be a criminal mastermind, but he could do some math.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, there was an accident and she was taken in by the mastermind behind the plan.’
      • ‘Only the masterminds of this scheme knew the full truth.’
      • ‘‘But, we have yet to speak about the masterminds behind the bombing operation,’ he added.’
      • ‘Being the intelligent evil mastermind, he had already devised a scheme to rid him of the burden.’
      • ‘On the other hand, I do not believe that the police or military can uncover the masterminds behind the blasts.’
      • ‘Standing tall, black hood and mask concealing all but his yellow eyes, and carrying his deactivated double-edged saber, was the mastermind of this entire plan.’
      • ‘The suspected mastermind of that case reportedly escaped from prison three years earlier by digging a tunnel.’
      • ‘The mastermind behind this operation was sitting directly at the center of the huge plateau.’
      • ‘I'm certain that some Chess players envisage themselves as political masterminds manipulating people behind the scenes but this is entirely at the discretion of the player.’
      • ‘There have been several reports of missed opportunities in capturing the excused terror mastermind.’
      • ‘Will it lead to the mastermind of the plot?’
      • ‘The search for a foreign mastermind of the attacks, however, has so far not panned out.’
      • ‘But you need a thoroughbred forensic expert to put the pieces together, to search for the missing links, to finally point fingers at the mastermind behind a crime.’
      • ‘He had been the mastermind behind the whole plan, I was sure he could get us out of all of this trouble.’
      • ‘So who was the mastermind who devised the scheme in the first place?’
      initiator, prime mover, motivator, architect, designer, deviser, planner, shaper, inventor, maker, producer, contriver, originator, author, creator, founder, pioneer, father, mother, founding father, agent
      View synonyms


  • Plan and direct (an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise)

    ‘he was accused of masterminding a gold-smuggling racket’
    • ‘But now the wannabe mechanic has masterminded an innovative scheme to help put both himself and other youngsters on the road to success.’
    • ‘If he is still alive, and if he is functioning, then it's essential that we prevent him from masterminding any other terrorist actions.’
    • ‘She had no management at that time, and we masterminded the whole situation.’
    • ‘And is this tape proof that he masterminded the attack on America?’
    • ‘During his time there, he moonlighted as a public relations consultant, masterminding arrangements for Prince Albert to lay the foundation stone for new docks at Grimsby.’
    • ‘The woman who successfully masterminded Bolton's dream of university status is to retire next year.’
    • ‘A fraudster jailed after making a fortune from masterminding a timeshare swindle could be forced to pay £80 million to his victims.’
    • ‘The senior officers who masterminded the murder have not been indicted.’
    • ‘He eventually confessed to being part of a bomb plot masterminded by the British embassy.’
    • ‘The governor says a terrorist plot was masterminded behind these prison walls.’
    • ‘Five suspects accused of masterminding the June bombing are on trial in the southern port city, charged with conspiracy, murder and terrorism.’
    • ‘Meanwhile a Briton is being questioned in Holland on suspicion of masterminding a multi-million-pound heroin smuggling ring, police said yesterday.’
    • ‘Police are also hunting a fifth man who they believe masterminded the attacks.’
    • ‘My opponent became increasingly frustrated by my beginners luck and masterminded a cunning ploy to level the scores.’
    • ‘Of the 120 suspected of masterminding the genocide, 82 have so far been indicted and 67 arrested.’
    • ‘The building has clearly been crafted with extreme care and many people were involved in masterminding the practical details.’
    • ‘He had been credited with masterminding the doctrine of ‘pre-emption’, which argues that a state can take military action to deter an attack.’
    • ‘The rich family has an English butler who is masterminding a plot to kidnap Michelangelo and hold him for ransom.’
    • ‘Now we should introduce you to the man alleged to have masterminded the scheme.’
    • ‘In effect the children transformed themselves into pop impresarios - masterminding a campaign to propel a band called X-Factor into the charts and on to superstardom.’
    control, plan, direct, be in charge of, run, conduct, organize, arrange, administer, regulate, supervise, superintend, preside over, orchestrate, stage-manage, engineer, manage, coordinate, conceive, devise, put together, forge, originate, initiate, think up, create, work out, dream up, frame, hatch, generate, come up with, have the bright idea of
    be the brains behind
    View synonyms