See more synonyms for mate on
  1. a partner in marriage; spouse.
  2. one member of a pair of mated animals.
  3. one of a pair: I can't find the mate to this glove.
  4. a counterpart.
  5. an associate; fellow worker; comrade; partner (often used in combination): classmate; roommate.
  6. friend; buddy; pal (often used as an informal term of address): Let me give you a hand with that, mate.
  7. Nautical.
    1. first mate.
    2. any of a number of officers of varying degrees of rank subordinate to the master of a merchant ship.
    3. an assistant to a warrant officer or other functionary on a ship.
  8. an aide or helper, as to an artisan; factotum.
  9. a gear, rack, or worm engaging with another gear or worm.
  10. Archaic. an equal in reputation; peer; match.
verb (used with object), mat·ed, mat·ing.
  1. to join as a mate or as mates.
  2. to bring (animals) together for breeding purposes.
  3. to match or marry.
  4. to join, fit, or associate suitably: to mate thought with daring action.
  5. to connect or link: a telephone system mated to a computerized information service.
  6. to treat as comparable.
verb (used without object), mat·ed, mat·ing.
  1. to associate as a mate or as mates.
  2. (of animals) to copulate.
  3. (of animals) to pair for the purpose of breeding.
  4. to marry.
  5. (of a gear, rack, or worm) to engage with another gear or worm; mesh.
  6. Archaic. to consort; keep company.

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
  1. checkmate(defs 1, 3, 5).

Origin of mate

1175–1225; Middle English mat defeated (adj.), defeat (noun) < Old FrenchPersian; see checkmate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mating

Contemporary Examples of mating

Historical Examples of mating

British Dictionary definitions for mating



  1. an evergreen tree, Ilex paraguariensis, cultivated in South America for its leaves, which contain caffeine: family Aquifoliaceae
  2. 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


  1. the sexual partner of an animal
  2. 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
  3. one of a pair of matching items
  4. nautical
    1. short for first mate
    2. any officer below the master on a commercial ship
    3. a warrant officer's assistant on a ship
  5. (in some trades) an assistanta plumber's mate
  6. archaic a suitable associate
  7. mate rates Australian slang the reduced rate charged for work done for a friend
  1. to pair (a male and female animal) or (of animals) to pair for reproduction
  2. to marry or join in marriage
  3. (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
  1. chess See checkmate
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 mating



"checkmate," c.1300, from Old French mater "to checkmate, defeat, overcome," from mat "checkmated" (see checkmate (v.)).



c.1500, "to equal, rival," 1590s as "to match, couple, marry, join in marriage," from mate (n.1). Also, of animals, "to pair for the purpose of breeding." Related: Mated; mating.



in chess, "a condition of checkmate," c.1300, mat, from Middle French mat, from Old French mater (see mate (v.2)).



"associate, fellow, comrade," mid-14c., also "companion" (late 14c.), from Middle Low German mate, gemate "one eating at the same table, messmate," from Proto-Germanic *ga-maton "having food (*matiz) together (*ga-)," which is etymologically identical with companion. Cognate with Danish and Swedish mat, German Maat "mate," Dutch maat, from German. Meaning "one of a wedded pair" is attested from 1540s. Used as a form of address by sailors, laborers, etc., since at least mid-15c. Meaning "officer on a merchant vessel is from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mating in Medicine


  1. The pairing of a male and a female for the purpose of reproduction.


  1. A spouse.
  2. Either of a pair of animals or birds that associate in order to propagate.
  3. Either of a pair of animals brought together for breeding.
  1. To become joined in marriage.
  2. To be paired for reproducing; breed.
  3. To copulate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.