[ mey-triks, ma- ]
/ ˈmeɪ trɪks, ˈmæ- /

noun, plural ma·tri·ces [mey-tri-seez, ma-] /ˈmeɪ trɪˌsiz, ˈmæ-/, ma·trix·es.



"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10

Origin of matrix

1325–75; Middle English matris, matrix < Latin mātrix female animal kept for breeding (Late Latin: register, orig. of such beasts), parent stem (of plants), derivative of māter mother Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for matrices

British Dictionary definitions for matrices (1 of 2)

/ (ˈmeɪtrɪˌsiːz, ˈmæ-) /


a plural of matrix

British Dictionary definitions for matrices (2 of 2)

/ (ˈmeɪtrɪks, ˈmæ-) /

noun plural matrices (ˈmeɪtrɪˌsiːz, ˈmæ-) or matrixes

Word Origin for matrix

C16: from Latin: womb, female animal used for breeding, from māter mother
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

Medical definitions for matrices

[ mātrĭks ]

n. pl. ma•trix•es

A surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained.
The womb.
The formative cells or tissue of a fingernail, toenail, or tooth.
ground substance
A specially shaped instrument, plastic material, or metal strip for holding and shaping the material used in filling a tooth cavity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for matrices

[ mātrĭks ]

Plural matrices (trĭ-sēz′, mătrĭ-) matrixes

Geology The mineral grains of a rock in which fossils are embedded.
Biology The component of an animal or plant tissue that is outside the cells. Bone cells are embedded in a matrix of collagen fibers and mineral salts. Connective tissue consists of cells and extracellular fibers in a liquid called ground substance. Also called extracellular matrix
Mathematics A rectangular array of numeric or algebraic quantities subject to mathematical operations.
Anatomy The formative cells or tissue of a fingernail, toenail, or tooth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.