from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Ecclesiastical The office that formerly constituted together with lauds the first of the seven canonical hours.
- n. The time of day appointed for this service, traditionally midnight or 2 A.M. but often sunrise.
- n. See Morning Prayer.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. together with lauds, the earliest of the canonical hours; normally at sunrise, but often earlier
- n. morning prayers
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the first canonical hour; at daybreak
Middle English matines, from Old French, from Medieval Latin (vigiliae) mātūtīnae, morning (vigils), feminine pl. of Latin mātūtīnus, of the morning, from Mātūta, goddess of dawn; see mā-1 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)