verb (used with object), mat·ed, mat·ing.

verb (used without object), mat·ed, mat·ing.

Nearby words

  1. matchmark,
  2. matchstick,
  3. matchup,
  4. matchwood,
  5. matchy-matchy,
  6. mate's rates,
  7. matelassé,
  8. matelot,
  9. matelote,
  10. mater

Origin of mate

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle Low German; replacing Middle English mette, Old English gemetta messmate, guest. See meat

Related formsmate·less, adjective



noun, verb (used with object), mat·ed, mat·ing, interjection

Origin of mate

1175–1225; Middle English mat defeated (adj.), defeat (noun) < Old FrenchPersian; see checkmate


[mah-tey, mat-ey]



[mah-tey, mat-ey, mah-tey]


a tealike South American beverage made from the dried leaves of an evergreen tree.
a South American tree, Ilex paraguariensis, that is the source of this beverage.
the dried leaves of this tree.
Also mate.

Origin of maté

1710–20; < American Spanish mate, orig. the vessel in which the herb is steeped < Quechua mati


Materials Engineer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mate

British Dictionary definitions for mate




the sexual partner of an animal
a marriage partner
  1. informal, mainly British, Australian and NZa friend, usually of the same sex: often used between males in direct address
  2. (in combination)an associate, colleague, fellow sharer, etca classmate; a flatmate
one of a pair of matching items
  1. short for first mate
  2. any officer below the master on a commercial ship
  3. a warrant officer's assistant on a ship
(in some trades) an assistanta plumber's mate
archaic a suitable associate
mate rates Australian slang the reduced rate charged for work done for a friend


to pair (a male and female animal) or (of animals) to pair for reproduction
to marry or join in marriage
(tr) to join as a pair; match
Derived Formsmateless, adjective

Word Origin for mate

C14: from Middle Low German; related to Old English gemetta table-guest, from mete meat

noun, verb

chess See checkmate




an evergreen tree, Ilex paraguariensis, cultivated in South America for its leaves, which contain caffeine: family Aquifoliaceae
a stimulating milky beverage made from the dried leaves of this tree
Modern Greek name: Paraguay tea, yerba, yerba maté

Word Origin for maté

C18: from American Spanish (originally referring to the vessel in which the drink was brewed), from Quechua máti gourd

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

Word Origin and History for mate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for mate




A spouse.
Either of a pair of animals or birds that associate in order to propagate.
Either of a pair of animals brought together for breeding.


To become joined in marriage.
To be paired for reproducing; breed.
To copulate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.