[mey-triks, ma-]

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

Nearby words

  1. matrilocal,
  2. matrimonial,
  3. matrimony,
  4. matrimony vine,
  5. matripotestal,
  6. matrix band,
  7. matrix bar code,
  8. matrix calculus,
  9. matrix mechanics,
  10. matrix printer

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for matrix

British Dictionary definitions for matrix


noun plural matrices (ˈmeɪtrɪˌsiːz, ˈmæ-) or matrixes

a substance, situation, or environment in which something has its origin, takes form, or is enclosed
anatomy the thick tissue at the base of a nail from which a fingernail or toenail develops
the intercellular substance of bone, cartilage, connective tissue, etc
  1. the rock material in which fossils, pebbles, etc, are embedded
  2. the material in which a mineral is embedded; gangue
  1. a metal mould for casting type
  2. a papier-mâché or plastic mould impressed from the forme and used for stereotypingSometimes shortened to: mat
(formerly) a mould used in the production of gramophone records. It is obtained by electrodeposition onto the master
a bed of perforated material placed beneath a workpiece in a press or stamping machine against which the punch operates
  1. the shaped cathode used in electroforming
  2. the metal constituting the major part of an alloy
  3. the soft metal in a plain bearing in which the hard particles of surface metal are embedded
the main component of a composite material, such as the plastic in a fibre-reinforced plastic
maths a rectangular array of elements set out in rows and columns, used to facilitate the solution of problems, such as the transformation of coordinates. Usually indicated by parentheses: (a d b e c f)Compare determinant (def. 3)
linguistics the main clause of a complex sentence
computing a rectangular array of circuit elements usually used to generate one set of signals from another
obsolete the womb

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

Word Origin and History for matrix



late 14c., "uterus, womb," from Old French matrice "womb, uterus," from Latin matrix (genitive matricis) "pregnant animal," in Late Latin "womb," also "source, origin," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother (n.1)). Sense of "place or medium where something is developed" is first recorded 1550s; sense of "embedding or enclosing mass" first recorded 1640s. Logical sense of "array of possible combinations of truth-values" is attested from 1914. As a verb from 1951.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for matrix



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.

Science definitions for matrix



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.