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)


  • 48The final type of liturgical manuscript from these houses are collectars, which contained the collects or prayers for the different hours of the Divine Office. 124 According to Humbert's prototype, the collectar starts with a calendar and then describes "the manner of singing all the capitula, the blessings before the lessons in matins, the versicles before lauds, all the antiphons, all the prayers (or orationes)."

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  • The church commences her solemn service of each of these days with that part of the divine office called matins and lauds, and at this time Tenebrae from the _darkness_ with which it concludes.

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  • They went to that office of the night which is called matins in those churches in which it is said at midnight, as is still the custom at Notre Dame, in Paris.

    The Life and Legends of Saint Francis of Assisi

  • In the Bell Tower a fine chime of bells is placed the playing of which at noon and sunset recalls the matins and vespers of the

    The Old Franciscan Missions Of California

  • The large bell -- used to announce the services of the church, and, through the kindness of Lady Rollo, to ring at "matins" and at "even-song" -- is of very full tone.

    Chronicles of Strathearn

  • Whether my companions heard it or not, I know not, but it was a kind of matins to me, and the event of that forenoon.

    The Maine Woods

  • "Si, je sais bien que tous les matins elles balayent leurs escaliers puis y jettent un seau d'eau."

    Tante Marie-Francoise

  • Tu as entendu! s'énerve Audrey, elles se posent la même question tous les matins et je suis sûre que demain c'est Françoise qui demandera à Lucienne s'il faut arroser ou non les fleurs!

    Tante Marie-Francoise

  • Je vous souhaite un tres joyeux anniversaire ... que vous soyez heureux toujours and que Kristin vous apportiez une tasse de cafe tous les matins!

    se reposer sur ses lauriers - French Word-A-Day

  • In the devotional act that is morning class, a dancer's matins, Ms. Kistler often sported a bright pink, shiny leotard, lime-green legwarmers and glittering red hair barrettes holding up her reams of golden hair she was the queen of shimmer offstage.

    Darci Kistler Exits the Stage


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  • c1250 Lutel Soth Serm. (Calig.) 69 in R. Morris Old Eng. Misc. (1872) 190 Masses and matines ne kepeth heo nouht.

    June 21, 2008