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matr-

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variant of matri- before a vowel.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

WORDS THAT USE MATR-

What does matr- mean?

The combining form matr- is used like a prefix meaning “mother.” It is an extremely rare combining form.

The form matr- comes from Latin māter, meaning “mother.” The word matrix, which has various meanings, including “womb,” comes from this same Latin root, as does matron, “a married woman.”

The “father” counterpart to matr- is patr-. Check out our Words That Use article for patr- to learn more.

The Greek cognate of Latin māter is mḗtēr, also meaning “mother,” which is the source of words such as metropolis, a term that literally means “mother city.” Find out more at our entries for matrix, matron, and metropolis.

What are variants of matr-?

Matr- is a rare variant of matri-, which loses its -i- when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Another rare variant of matri- is matro-, as in matrocliny. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for each of these forms.

What are some other forms that matri- may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that begins with the exact letters matri- or matr-, like matrass or matriculate, is necessarily using the combining form matri- to denote “mother.” Learn why matriculate means “to enroll” at our entry for the word.

How to use matr- in a sentence

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