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[mey-truh n-lee] /ˈmeɪ trən li/
of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a matron; maturely dignified; stately.
characteristic of or suitable for a matron.
Origin of matronly
First recorded in 1650-60; matron + -ly
Related forms
matronliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for matronly
Historical Examples
  • Hilda Marsh—Hilda the blooming, the full bosomed, the matronly.

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • Her features, once soft and matronly, flamed with uncontrollable passions.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • She was little if any older than the girl, but her air was that of matronly wisdom.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet
  • A matronly woman, of portly dimensions, met them in the hallway.

  • She was a matronly person, with a bland smile on her countenance.

    A Boy's Voyage Round the World The Son of Samuel Smiles
  • He does not foresee that in Clara's matronly friend he will behold Marah Rocke!

    Capitola's Peril Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • Mrs. Thornburgh moved on, her matronly face aglow with interest.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Magdalena was superb in her matronly beauty and her diamonds.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • Well, I think the bonnet is nicest, more quiet and matronly.

  • A matronly woman welcomes you, and presides with grace and dignity.

    Among the Sioux R. J. Creswell
British Dictionary definitions for matronly


of, characteristic of, or suitable for a matron; staid and dignified in a manner associated with a middle-aged, usually plump, woman
Derived Forms
matronliness, noun
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 matronly

1580s (adv.), 1650s (adj.), from matron + -ly (2). An earlier adjective was matron-like (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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