• synonyms


or mate·low

[mat-loh, mat-l-oh]
noun British Slang.
  1. a sailor.
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Origin of matelot

1910–15; < FrenchMiddle Dutch mattenoot sailor, equivalent to matte mat1 + noot companion (Dutch genoot)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for matelot

Historical Examples

  • I prove to you I am not; but a good, sound, safe, French matelot!

    Seven Frozen Sailors

    George Manville Fenn

  • He had been a matelot, he said,—made a long voyage, and once touched at an English port.

  • Finally a matelot advanced—a common sailor—a man before the mast.

  • The Buccaneers went in pairs, every hunter having his camerade or matelot (sailor), as well as his engags.

  • No excuse was allowed; and if illness prevented the man elected taking the office, his matelot, or companion, took his place.

British Dictionary definitions for matelot


matlo or matlow

  1. slang, mainly British a sailor
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Word Origin

C20: from French
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