from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A flat piece of coarse fabric or other material used for wiping one's shoes or feet, or in various other forms as a floor covering.
  • n. A small flat piece of decorated material placed under a lamp, dish of food, or other object.
  • n. Sports A floor pad to protect athletes, as in wrestling or gymnastics.
  • n. A densely woven or thickly tangled mass: a mat of hair.
  • n. The solid part of a lace design.
  • n. A heavy woven net of rope or wire cable placed over a blasting site to keep debris from scattering.
  • transitive v. To cover, protect, or decorate with mats or a mat.
  • transitive v. To pack or interweave into a thick mass: High winds matted the leaves against the base of the fence.
  • intransitive v. To be packed or interwoven into a thick mass; become entangled.
  • n. A decorative border placed around a picture to serve as a frame or provide contrast between the picture and the frame.
  • n. A dull, often rough finish, as of paint, glass, metal, or paper.
  • n. A special tool for producing such a surface or finish.
  • n. Printing See matrix.
  • transitive v. To put a mat around (a picture).
  • transitive v. To produce a dull finish on.
  • adj. Having a dull finish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A flat piece of coarse material used for wiping one’s feet, or as a decorative or protective floor covering.
  • n. A small flat piece of material used to protect a surface from anything hot or rough; a coaster.
  • n. A floor pad to protect athletes.
  • n. A thickly tangled mess, of hair etc.
  • n. A thick paper or paperboard border used to inset and center the contents of a frame.
  • n. A thin layer of woven, non-woven, or knitted fiber that serves as reinforcement to a material.
  • v. To cover, protect or decorate with mats.
  • v. To form a thick, tangled mess.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Cast down; dejected; overthrown; slain.
  • n. A name given by coppersmiths to an alloy of copper, tin, iron, etc., usually called white metal.
  • n. A thick flat fabric of sedge, rushes, flags, husks, straw, hemp, or similar material, placed on the floor and used for wiping and cleaning shoes at the door, for covering the floor of a hall or room to protect its surface, and for other purposes.
  • n. Any similar flat object made of fabric or other material, such as rubber or plastic, placed flat on a surface for various uses, as for covering plant houses, putting beneath dishes or lamps on a table, securing rigging from friction, and the like.
  • n. Anything growing thickly, or closely interwoven, so as to resemble a mat in form or texture
  • n. An ornamental border made of paper, pasterboard, metal, etc., put under the glass which covers a framed picture.
  • intransitive v. To grow thick together; to become interwoven or felted together like a mat, as hair when wetted with a sticky substance.
  • transitive v. To cover or lay with mats.
  • transitive v. To twist, twine, or felt together; to interweave into, or like, a mat; to entangle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cover or overlay with mats or matting.
  • To make like a mat; cause to resemble a mat; twist together; interweave like a mat; entangle: as, matted hair.
  • To grow thick together; become interwoven like a mat.
  • An obsolete form of mate.
  • Having a dull or dead surface: unpolished; lusterless: as, mat gold; mat silver.
  • n. A dull or dead surface, without luster, produced in metals, as gold or silver, by special tools.
  • n. [⟨ mat, verb] An implement by which a mat surface is produced, as in gold or silver.
  • To produce a rough or unpolished surface on (metal), whether by means of a mat or by engraving with a sharp tool.
  • n. An article plaited or woven of more or less coarse material, as rushes, straw, coir, rope, twine, or thick woolen yarn, of various sizes and shapes according to the use to which it is to be put.
  • n. A web of rope-yarn used on ships to secure the standing rigging from the friction of the yards, etc.
  • n. Matting; woven rushes or straw.
  • n. A structure of interwoven withes, weeds, brush, or the like, or of fascines, fastened with ropes and wires, used as a revetment on river-banks, etc.; a mattress.
  • n. A sack made of matting, such as are used to contain coffee or to cover tea-chests; specifically, such a sack containing a certain quantity of coffee.
  • n. Anything closely set, dense, and thick: as, a mat of hair; a mat of weeds.
  • n. A piece of thick paper, cardboard, or other material placed for protection or ornament immediately under the glass in a picture-frame, with enough of the central part cut out for the proper display of the picture (usually a drawing, engraving, or photograph).
  • n. In lace-making, the solid or closely worked surface, as distinguished from the more open part.
  • n. In phytogeography, a mat-like aggregation of tufts from basal branches. Compare mat-plant. Pound and Clements.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a master's degree in teaching
  • n. mounting consisting of a border or background for a picture
  • v. twist together or entwine into a confusing mass
  • n. a mass that is densely tangled or interwoven
  • n. the property of having little or no contrast; lacking highlights or gloss
  • n. sports equipment consisting of a piece of thick padding on the floor for gymnastic sports
  • adj. not reflecting light; not glossy
  • v. change texture so as to become matted and felt-like
  • n. a small pad of material that is used to protect surface from an object placed on it
  • n. a thick flat pad used as a floor covering


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old English matte, from Late Latin matta, of Phoenician origin; see nṭy in Semitic roots.
From French, dull, from Old French, defeated, withered, perhaps from Latin mattus, stupefied, senseless, possibly from *maditus, past participle of madēre, to be wet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English matte, from Late Latin matta, from Punic or Phoenician (compare Hebrew מיטה \ מִטָּה (mitá, "bed, couch")).



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  • Russian for "swearing", from all the crude phrases that refer to doing things to your opponent's mother (mat'). Compare with diamat.

    August 26, 2008

  • Tam in reverse.

    November 3, 2007