• synonyms


[mey-truh n]
See more synonyms for matron on Thesaurus.com
  1. a married woman, especially one who is mature and staid or dignified and has an established social position.
  2. a woman who has charge of the domestic affairs of a hospital, prison, or other institution.
  3. a woman serving as a guard, warden, or attendant for women or girls, as in a prison.
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Origin of matron

1350–1400; Middle English matrone < Latin mātrōna a married woman, wife, derivative of māter mother
Related formsma·tron·al [mey-truh-nl, ma-] /ˈmeɪ trə nl, ˈmæ-/, adjectivema·tron·hood, ma·tron·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for matron

dowager, housekeeper, matriarch, biddy, administrator, superintendent, wife, mother, lady, dame, housemother

Examples from the Web for matron

Contemporary Examples of matron

Historical Examples of matron

  • That matron, like most Grecian women, was ignorant of her own written language.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Never ought so worthy, so valuable a matron to be lost to the world.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • She reported to the matron that Mary was not neat and quarrelled all the time.

  • And the matron—not Miss Coffin, but the other one—called me 'Maggie.'

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • On a morning in August the matron's report had closed with a startling item.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for matron


  1. a married woman regarded as staid or dignified, esp a middle-aged woman with children
  2. a woman in charge of the domestic or medical arrangements in an institution, such as a boarding school
  3. US a wardress in a prison
  4. British the former name for the administrative head of the nursing staff in a hospitalOfficial name: nursing officer
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Derived Formsmatronal, adjectivematronhood or matronship, nounmatron-like, adjective

Word Origin for matron

C14: via Old French from Latin mātrōna, 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 matron


late 14c., "married woman" (usually one of rank), from Old French matrone "married woman; elderly lady; patroness; midwife," and directly from Latin matrona "married woman, wife, matron," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother (n.1)). Sense of "female manager of a school, hospital, etc." first recorded 1550s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper