- Military Air Transport Service.
- a piece of fabric made of plaited or woven rushes, straw, hemp, or similar fiber, or of some other pliant material, as rubber, used as a protective covering on a floor or other surface, to wipe the shoes on, etc.
- a smaller piece of material, often ornamental, set under a dish of food, a lamp, vase, etc.
- the padded canvas covering the entire floor of a wrestling ring, for protecting the contestants from injury when thrown.
- a thick pad placed on the floor for the protection of tumblers and others engaged in gymnastic sports.
- a thickly growing or thick and tangled mass, as of hair or weeds.
- a sack made of matting, as for coffee or sugar.
- a slablike footing of concrete, especially one for an entire building.
- a heavy mesh reinforcement for a concrete slab.
- to cover with or as if with mats or matting.
- to form into a mat, as by interweaving.
- to become entangled; form tangled masses.
- go to the mat, to contend or struggle in a determined or unyielding way: The president is going to the mat with Congress over the proposed budget cuts.
Origin of mat1
- a piece of cardboard or other material placed over or under a drawing, painting, photograph, etc., to serve as a frame or provide a border between the picture and the frame.
- to provide (a picture) with a mat.
Origin of mat2
- the intaglio, usually of papiermâché, impressed from type or a cut, from which a stereotype plate is cast.
- matrix(def 8).
Origin of mat4
or mat, matt
- having a dull or lusterless surface: matte paint; a matte complexion; a photograph with a matte finish.
- a dull or dead surface, often slightly roughened, as on metals, paint, paper, or glass.
- a tool for producing such a surface.
- Metallurgy. an unfinished metallic product of the smelting of certain sulfide ores, especially those of copper.
- Movies. matte shot.
- to finish with a matte surface.
Origin of matte1
Examples from the Web for mats
Gingerly, about 30 couples lay down and squatted on mats and rugs for the mass face-sit.Britain’s Record-Breaking Face-Sitting Porn Protest
December 12, 2014
In two-thirds of the room, delegates sat in folding chairs across the basketball court, which was covered by mats.The Bizarro World Of Iowa’s GOP Convention
June 23, 2014
There were mats everywhere and it was like a big rainy-day sleepover with most of the cast.Orange Is the New Black’s Kimiko Glenn on Hippie Brook Soso and Chapel Sex with Natasha Lyonne
June 18, 2014
Chili peppers were everywhere, drying on mats, on roofs, and in fields.
Most families live on the second floor of their wood homes, sleeping, eating, and socializing on mats in the main room.
Where there are no frames to spare, the beds may be covered with mats over hoops, and the sides secured by boards and straw-bands.
Protect them from the air and frost, by laying in heaps in a dry place, covering them with mats, or burying them in dry sand.
The Vesta separators, or "mats," are treated by a special process.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
Babalatchi approached, and sat at Lingard's feet on a rolled-up bundle of mats.An Outcast of the Islands
Otherwise the room was only furnished with mats in great profusion.Almayer's Folly
- an impure fused material consisting of metal sulphides produced during the smelting of a sulphide ore
- films television a mask used to blank out part of an image so that another image can be superimposed
- a thick flat piece of fabric used as a floor covering, a place to wipe one's shoes, etc
- a smaller pad of material used to protect a surface from the heat, scratches, etc, of an object placed upon it
- a large piece of thick padded material put on the floor as a surface for wrestling, judo, or gymnastic sports
- NZ a Māori cloak
- go back to the mat NZ to abandon urban civilization
- any surface or mass that is densely interwoven or tangleda mat of grass and weeds
- the solid part of a lace design
- a heavy net of cable or rope laid over a blasting site to prevent the scatter of debris
- a heavy mesh of reinforcement in a concrete slab
- (esp US) a steel or concrete raft serving as a footing to support a post
- civil engineering short for mattress (def. 3)
- to tangle or weave or become tangled or woven into a dense mass
- (tr) to cover with a mat or mats
- a border of cardboard, cloth, etc, placed around a picture to act as a frame or as a contrast between picture and frame
- a surface, as on metal or paint
- having a dull, lustreless, or roughened surface
- to furnish (a picture) with a mat
- to give (a surface) a mat finish
- printing informal short for matrix (def. 5)
Word Origin and History for mats
"sheet of backing material," 1845, from French mat "dull surface or finish" (15c.), noun use of Old French mat (adj.); see mat (adj.).
early 15c., "to make mats," from mat (n.1). From 1540s as "to provide with mats, to cover with mats;" meaning "to become tangled" is from 1570s. Related: Matted; matting.
"backing for a picture," 1845, from French; see mat (n.2).
variant of mat (n.2).
loosely joined natural materials used as bedding, etc., Old English matte, from Late Latin matta "mat made of rushes" (4c.), probably from Punic or Phoenician matta (cf. Hebrew mittah "bed, couch"). Meaning "tangled mass" is from 1835. That of "piece of padded flooring used in gymnastics or wrestling" is attested from 1892; hence figurative phrase go to the mat "do battle" (1910). The Latin word also is the source of German Matte, matze; Dutch mat, Italian matta. French natte "mat, matting" is from Late Latin secondary form natta (cf. napkin).
1640s, "lusterless, dull" (of a color or surface), from French mat "dull, dead surface," from Old French mat "beaten down, withered, afflicted, dejected; dull," which is perhaps from Latin mattus "maudlin with drink," from madere "to be wet or sodden, be drunk," from PIE root *mad- "to be wet, drip" (see mast (n.2)). Or the French word might represent a transferred use from chess of mater "to checkmate, defeat," from Arabic (see mate (v.2)).
Idioms and Phrases with mats
see go to the mat; welcome mat.