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[mat-n] /ˈmæt n/
(often initial capital letter) matins, Also, especially British, mattins. (usually used with a singular verb) Ecclesiastical.
  1. the first of the seven canonical hours.
  2. the service for it, properly beginning at midnight, but sometimes beginning at daybreak.
  3. Also called Morning Prayer. the service of public prayer, said in the morning, in the Anglican Church.
Archaic. aubade.
Also, matinal. pertaining to the morning or to matins.
Origin of matin
1200-50; Middle English matyn (plural matines) < Old French matin < Latin mātūtīnus matutinal Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for matins
Historical Examples
  • The bishop did not appear at matins, or at the later church service.

  • He paused at one of them, and read aloud the third lesson of matins.

    En Route

    J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans
  • Then the midnight hour struck, and it was time to rise for matins.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Perhaps you like this better:—'Yesterday I went to town and heard the matins read.

  • The chimes were ringing to matins and the devout were entering to the early mass.

    On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards
  • He stood therefore at matins, feeling unusually self-satisfied.

    The Grey Friars in Oxford Andrew G. Little
  • If we have overslept our matins, they say, we will make up at high mass.

  • The early morning is my time of self-collection, my hour of prayer, my matins.

    The Inferno August Strindberg
  • He has been with me a week, and every day we have had matins, compline, and evensong.

    Mrs. Darrell Foxcroft Davis
  • The singing at vespers and matins filled him with unutterable joy.

    The Duchesse de Langeais Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for matins


noun (functioning as singular or pl)
  1. (mainly RC Church) the first of the seven canonical hours of prayer, originally observed at night but now often recited with lauds at daybreak
  2. the service of morning prayer in the Church of England
(literary) a morning song, esp of birds
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, ultimately from Latin mātūtīnus of the morning, from Mātūta goddess of dawn


of or relating to matins
Word Origin
C14: see matins
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for matins

canonical hour, mid-13c., from Old French matines (12c.), from Late Latin matutinas (nominative matutinæ) "morning prayers," originally matutinas vigilias "morning watches," from Latin matutinus "of or in the morning," associated with Matuta, Roman dawn goddess (see manana). The Old English word was uht-sang, from uhte "daybreak."



see matins.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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