[mey-truh n-lee]
See more synonyms for matronly on

Origin of matronly

First recorded in 1650–60; matron + -ly
Related formsma·tron·li·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for matronly

Historical Examples of matronly

  • Hilda Marsh—Hilda the blooming, the full bosomed, the matronly.

    Monday or Tuesday

    Virginia Woolf

  • Her features, once soft and matronly, flamed with uncontrollable passions.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • She was little if any older than the girl, but her air was that of matronly wisdom.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • A matronly woman, of portly dimensions, met them in the hallway.

  • She was a matronly person, with a bland smile on her countenance.

    A Boy's Voyage Round the World

    The Son of Samuel Smiles

British Dictionary definitions for matronly


  1. of, characteristic of, or suitable for a matron; staid and dignified in a manner associated with a middle-aged, usually plump, woman
Derived Formsmatronliness, noun
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 matronly

1580s (adv.), 1650s (adj.), from matron + -ly (2). An earlier adjective was matron-like (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper