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matilda

[muh-til-duh]
noun Australian.
  1. swag2(def 2).
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Origin of matilda

First recorded in 1890–95; special use of proper name Matilda

Matilda

[muh-til-duh; for 3 also Italian mah-teel-dah]
noun
  1. Also called Maud. 1102–67, empress of the Holy Roman Empire 1114–25; queen of England 1141 (daughter of Henry I of England).
  2. Military. a 26½-ton British tank of early World War II, having a crew of four and armed with a 40mm gun.
  3. Also Ma·til·de [muh-til-duh; French ma-teeld; Italian mah-teel-de] /məˈtɪl də; French maˈtild; Italian mɑˈtil dɛ/. a female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for matilda

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He kissed Matilda's forehead, and walked away without a song.

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • The baron was inflexible in his resolution not to let Matilda leave the castle.

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • Shall I take your hand, Matilda, in the presence of this my court?

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • Now, if it were really Matilda Fitzwater, who were her two companions?

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • Great acclamations succeeded, and the forester led Matilda to the dance.

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock


British Dictionary definitions for matilda

Matilda1

noun Australian informal
  1. a bushman's swag
  2. waltz Matilda or walk Matilda to travel the road carrying one's swag
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Word Origin

C20: from the Christian name

Matilda2

noun
  1. known as the Empress Maud. 1102–67, only daughter of Henry I of England and wife of Geoffrey of Anjou. After her father's death (1135) she unsuccessfully waged a civil war with Stephen for the English throne; her son succeeded as Henry II
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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 matilda

Matilda

fem. proper name, from French Mathilde, of Germanic origin, literally "mighty in battle;" cf. Old High German Mahthilda, from mahti "might, power" + hildi "battle," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle," from PIE *kel- (1) "to strike, cut." The name also was late 19c. Australian slang for "a traveller's bundle or swag," hence the expression waltzing Matilda "to travel on foot" (by 1889).

In my electorate nearly every man you meet who is not "waltzing Matilda" rides a bicycle. ["Parliamentary Debates," Australia, 1907]

The lyrics of the song of that name, sometimes called the unofficial Australian national anthem, are said to date to 1893.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper