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n. pl. mas·ters-at-arms (măs′tərz-)
A petty officer assigned to maintain order.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl masters-at-arms
(Nautical Terms) the senior rating, of Chief Petty Officer rank, in a naval unit responsible for discipline, administration, and police duties
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


n., pl. mas•ters-at-arms.
1. a naval petty officer who keeps order aboard ship.
2. an officer of an organization who keeps order.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.master-at-arms - the senior petty officermaster-at-arms - the senior petty officer; responsible for discipline aboard ship
P.O., petty officer, PO - a noncommissioned officer in the Navy or Coast Guard with a rank comparable to sergeant in the Army
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"With an excellent master-at-arms that we have here."
Anthony Savage, USS Constitution executive officer; Chief Hospital Corps-man (SW/SS) Timothy Shaeffer; Gunner's Mate Seaman Kali Morris, Master-at-Arms Seaman Gary Matthias; and Airman Sang Nguyen served Christmas dinner and talked to veterans as part of Constitution's partnership with the NECHV.
Once upon a time in the Land of the Rising Sun (except the sun hadn't risen yet, since it was 0345), a master-at-arms climbed behind the wheel of his trusty truck and headed out on patrol.
McGinnis, and Navy Master-At-Arms Second Class Michael A.
The NIACT Team, consisting of Master Chief Yeoman (SW) Larkin Whetstone, Chief Hospital Corpsman (AW/SW) Alex Garza, Chief Master-At-Arms Charline Mayo, Yeoman First Class Rosalyn Reeder, Hospital Corpsman First Class Angela Martin, Storekeeper First Class Lexington Harris, Personnel Specialist Second Class Katrina Mackey, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Duval Raines and Storekeeper Second Class Byron Moore, were responsible for the readiness, outfitting, training and transfer of the augmentees to various locations supporting the GWOT.
Mrs Hall, from Fareham, Hants, a master-at-arms, said the first thing she did was rush home to tell her husband John, 40, a laminator, of her luck.
Mr Henderson, born in High Heaton, Newcastle, joined the Royal Navy, in 1944, aged 15, and served around the world during a 25-year career, rising to the rank of master-at-arms. He said: "We've all served our country, in peace and war, and all of us are concerned about crime.
Her manager, Master-At-Arms Stuart Ranford, said: "Elizabeth was a typical, fun-loving young woman and a smart sailor who was enjoying her job here.
The master-at-arms, John Claggart, the petty officer in charge of security on the ship, nurses a black, cantankerous outlook.
The Navy's master-at-arms force--traditionally assigned to maintain law and order aboard ships and shore stations--is being expanded from 1,800 to 9,000, and its focus is switching to force protection.
Claggart, the master-at-arms in the novella, had it in for the young seaman, Billy Budd: "In Claggart was the mania of an evil nature, born with him and innate." Everyone on the ship loved Billy, except Claggart.
The protagonist is Captain Vere, who, despite some awareness of Billy's saintliness, must sentence the handsome fore-top man to death for murdering Claggart, the thoroughly evil master-at-arms. Vere, written for Pears, is another of the incomparable outsider portraits that have enriched the lyric theater during the past 50 years.

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