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The reviewer described McCullough’s biography of John Adams as magisterial.
  authoritative in various senses:
  • comprehensive in scope and from an expert
  • appearance or behavior; befitting an eminent person
  • offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power
  • relating to a government authority (magistrate) who can administer the law
 Mark word for later review on this computer
magisterial magisterially
Strongly Associated with:   magistrate
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  • The reviewer described McCullough’s biography of John Adams as magisterial.
  • managed the employees in an aloof magisterial way
  • with magisterial arrogance and self-assurance
  • she reigned in magisterial beauty

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  • He feels right at home in Europe where, he says, gifted people aren’t pigeonholed. America has experts, says Malkovich, but Europe can yield magisterial figures like the late Pier Paolo Pasolini, a political thinker, novelist and film director.
    James Graff  --  Time Magazine, Crossover Artist, 10/13/02  --,8599,364352,00.html(retrieved 04/16/08)
  • Bluffton is sleepy, magisterially silent, and enjoys a benediction of flowers every brilliant spring.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • At this point Ginsberg wakes up, Nathan’s forefinger furiously stabs the air, the voice becoming magisterial, arrogant, insufferably but gloriously hostile.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • Nowadays the military profession is in abeyance and the magisterial robe is the badge of honor.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Like Arya’s mind, music ran through this one: deep amber-gold chords that throbbed with magisterial melancholy.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eragon
  • But tell him, also, to set his fraternal and magisterial heart at ease: that I keep strictly within the limits of the law.
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights

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  • [He sits down magisterially] I come about a very serious matter, Governor.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Pygmalion
  • She was a widow, a chameleon lady who worked in her flower beds in an old straw hat and men’s coveralls, but after her five o’clock bath she would appear on the porch and reign over the street in magisterial beauty.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • ’Chaplain,’ he announced with magisterial rigidity, ’we charge you formally with being Washington Irving and taking capricious and unlicensed liberties in censoring the letters of officers and enlisted men.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • It was in this magisterial attitude that he began the examination.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • You can’t do things like that right in front of the Minister for Magic, you — you = His voice faltered as Dumbledore surveyed him magisterially over his half-moon spectacles.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • It would be a nice thing for me to send my islanders a cruel governor with flinty bowels, who won’t yield to the tears of afflicted damsels or to the prayers of wise, magisterial, ancient enchanters and sages.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Noah Claypole, or Morris Bolter as the reader pleases, punctually followed the directions he had received, which—Master Bates being pretty well acquainted with the locality—were so exact that he was enabled to gain the magisterial presence without asking any question, or meeting with any interruption by the way.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Let us say at once that that merry obstacle, a shower, was lacking in the case of this good-humored party, although Favourite had said as they set out, with a magisterial and maternal tone, "The slugs are crawling in the paths,—a sign of rain, children."
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • His head was magisterial and profound, his neck rolled above his collar in rich folds.
    William Faulkner  --  The Sound and the Fury
  • When he met Florentino Ariza, the first thing he did, with a certain magisterial delight, was to initiate him into the secrets of his paradise.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Grower said magisterially to one of these in a fustian jacket, who smoked a short pipe and wore straps round his knees.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • "How is it your father’s not come!" said Mr. Braithwaite, in a large and magisterial voice.
    D.H. Lawrence  --  Sons and Lovers
  • He wanted someone to share the blame, and frowned at Mrs. Moore rather magisterially.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • There was no magisterial district in all of South Africa where whites constituted a majority of residents.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • He loved this place, a magisterial old house in the Garden District.
    Dave Eggers  --  Zeitoun
  • Danger roamed the steep slopes and loamy valleys, and the magisterial high rock presided over both men and beasts, sharply defining the limits of their ambition, of their lives.
    David Baldacci  --  Wish You Well
  • "Mary would not be happy without doing her duty," said Mrs. Garth, magisterially, conscious of having done her own.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • The General waved me into my seat with a magisterial sweep of his long slender arm.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • He was, according to Leonora, always remitting his tenants’ rents and giving the tenants to understand that the reduction would be permanent; he was always redeeming drunkards who came before his magisterial bench; he was always trying to put prostitutes into respectable places—and he was a perfect maniac about children.
    Ford Madox Ford  --  The Good Soldier
  • A beautiful collie dog lay upon the grass near his chair, watching the master’s face almost as tenderly as the master took in the still more magisterial physiognomy of the house; and a little bristling, bustling terrier bestowed a desultory attendance upon the other gentlemen.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • His magisterial persona must come to an end in ashes.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • Harrison looked as merry as you please, behind his magisterial solemnity.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Red Prophet
  • [Stephen sits down magisterially in the chair at the writing table with an air of affirming his majority].
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Major Barbara
  • Ramsden goes solemnly back to his magisterial seat at the writing table, ignoring Tanner, and opens the proceedings.
    George Bernard Shaw  --  Man And Superman
  • Massive California live oaks were underlit by landscape spots: magisterial, frost-and-black, free-form scaffoldings of branches.
    Dean Koontz  --  Sole Survivor
  • Then, in his sonorous, magisterial voice, Glaedr said, This has gone on long enough…… Eragon, you should not spend so much time sparring.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Inheritance
  • Though infuriated by Dickinson’s "magisterial" tone, Adams replied calmly that there were many accommodations he would make in the cause of harmony and unanimity.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • Further, the habit is, I know, to think and speak of Jerusalem as Israel, which may be likened to our finding an embroidered shred, and holding it up as a magisterial robe of Caesar’s.
    Lew Wallace  --  Ben Hur
  • David Landes, the eminent Harvard historian, in his magisterial book, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, explores why it was Europe that nurtured an industrial revolution, and not Asia or the Middle East.
    Nicholas D. Kristof  --  Half the Sky
  • A beautiful collie dog lay upon the grass near his chair, watching the master’s face almost as tenderly as the master took in the still more magisterial physiognomy of the house; and a little bristling, bustling terrier bestowed a desultory attendance upon the other gentlemen.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 1
  • A magnificent figure he cut too, pausing for a moment (as the sound of the half hour died away) to look critically, magisterially, at socks and shoes; impeccable, substantial, as if he beheld the world from a certain eminence, and dressed to match; but realised the obligations which size, wealth, health, entail, and observed punctiliously even when not absolutely necessary, little courtesies, old-fashioned ceremonies which gave a quality to his manner, something to imitate, something…
    Virginia Woolf  --  Mrs. Dalloway
  • The Justices were sitting in the Town Hall near at hand, and we at once went over to have me bound apprentice to Joe in the Magisterial presence.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • "Indeed!" thought Porthos, casting a glance at the three hungry clerks—for the errand boy, as might be expected, was not admitted to the honors of the magisterial table, "in my cousin’s place, I would not keep such gourmands!
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Three Musketeers
  • A democracy may, however, allow a certain show of magisterial pomp, and clothe its officers in silks and gold, without seriously compromising its principles.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • He paused, drew a deep breath, and, with a slow magisterial gaze, swept his eyes from the right side of the hall to the left.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • When Charmolue had installed himself in a magisterial manner in his own, he seated himself, then rose and said, without exhibiting too much self-complacency at his success,—"The accused has confessed all."
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • And profiting by the fact that M. Gillenormand was taking breath, the lancer added in a magisterial manner:— "There should be no other newspaper than the Moniteur, and no other book than the Annuaire Militaire."
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Therefore, although Nathan’s remark was doubly infuriating at the time, piling, as I thought, imbecility on plain viciousness, I realize now how weirdly prescient it really was, how typical it was of that erratic, daft, tormented, but keenly honed and magisterial intelligence I was to get to know and find myself too often pitted against.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • But at my age, with a snootful of English Lit. that made me as savagely demanding as Matthew Arnold in my insistence that the written word exemplify only the highest seriousness and truth, I treated these forlorn offspring of a thousand strangers’ lonely and fragile desire with the magisterial, abstract loathing of an ape plucking vermin from his pelt.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • I drink a great deal of beer, to make myself magisterial.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
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Associated words [difficulty]:   magisterial [6] , magistrate [1]
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