[mey-truh n]
See more synonyms for matron on
  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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

  • Then Sister Allworthy whispered to the matron, who said, "Bring her in."

    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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper