- the padded canvas covering the entire floor of a wrestling ring, for protecting the contestants from injury when thrown.
- a thick pad placed on the floor for the protection of tumblers and others engaged in gymnastic sports.
verb (used with object), mat·ted, mat·ting.
verb (used without object), mat·ted, mat·ting.
Origin of mat1
Related Words for go to the matbear, brace, brave, confront, contend, endure, face, stomach, suffer, sustain, take, withstand
- a heavy net of cable or rope laid over a blasting site to prevent the scatter of debris
- a heavy mesh of reinforcement in a concrete slab
- (esp US) a steel or concrete raft serving as a footing to support a post
verb mats, matting or matted
Word Origin for mat
verb mats, matting or matted (tr)
Word Origin for mat
"sheet of backing material," 1845, from French mat "dull surface or finish" (15c.), noun use of Old French mat (adj.); see mat (adj.).
early 15c., "to make mats," from mat (n.1). From 1540s as "to provide with mats, to cover with mats;" meaning "to become tangled" is from 1570s. Related: Matted; matting.
loosely joined natural materials used as bedding, etc., Old English matte, from Late Latin matta "mat made of rushes" (4c.), probably from Punic or Phoenician matta (cf. Hebrew mittah "bed, couch"). Meaning "tangled mass" is from 1835. That of "piece of padded flooring used in gymnastics or wrestling" is attested from 1892; hence figurative phrase go to the mat "do battle" (1910). The Latin word also is the source of German Matte, matze; Dutch mat, Italian matta. French natte "mat, matting" is from Late Latin secondary form natta (cf. napkin).
1640s, "lusterless, dull" (of a color or surface), from French mat "dull, dead surface," from Old French mat "beaten down, withered, afflicted, dejected; dull," which is perhaps from Latin mattus "maudlin with drink," from madere "to be wet or sodden, be drunk," from PIE root *mad- "to be wet, drip" (see mast (n.2)). Or the French word might represent a transferred use from chess of mater "to checkmate, defeat," from Arabic (see mate (v.2)).
go to the mat
Fight until one side or another is victorious, as in The governor said he'd go to the mat for this bill. This term comes from wrestling and evokes the holding of an opponent when both contestants are down on the mat, the padded floor-covering used in matches. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
see go to the mat; welcome mat.