from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A situation or surrounding substance within which something else originates, develops, or is contained.
  • noun The womb.
  • noun The formative cells or tissue of a specialized structure such as a hair, nail, claw, or tooth.
  • noun The solid matter in which a fossil or crystal is embedded.
  • noun Groundmass.
  • noun A mold or die.
  • noun The principal metal in an alloy, as the iron in steel.
  • noun A binding substance, as cement in concrete.
  • noun Mathematics A rectangular array of numeric or algebraic quantities subject to mathematical operations.
  • noun Something resembling such an array, as in the regular formation of elements into columns and rows.
  • noun Computers The network of intersections between input and output leads in a computer, functioning as an encoder or a decoder.
  • noun A mold used in stereotyping and designed to receive positive impressions of type or illustrations from which metal plates can be cast.
  • noun A metal plate used for casting typefaces.
  • noun An electroplated impression of a phonograph record used to make duplicate records.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The womb; the uterus.
  • noun Hence That which incloses anything, or gives origin to anything, like a womb.
  • noun In mathematics, a rectangular array of quantities, usually square: so called because considered as a mold or set of compartments into which a certain number of quantities can be put, the leaving of one of the spaces unoccupied being in effect to put zero there. :
  • noun a matrix with p columns and q rows. The types of two matrices are said to be complementary when pp = q + q.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Anat.) The womb.
  • noun That which gives form or origin to anything.
  • noun (Mech.) The cavity in which anything is formed, and which gives it shape; a die; a mold, as for the face of a type.
  • noun (Min.) The earthy or stony substance in which metallic ores or crystallized minerals are found; the gangue.
  • noun (Dyeing) The five simple colors, black, white, blue, red, and yellow, of which all the rest are composed.
  • noun (Biol.) The lifeless portion of tissue, either animal or vegetable, situated between the cells; the intercellular substance.
  • noun (Math.) A rectangular arrangement of symbols in rows and columns. The symbols may express quantities or operations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The womb.
  • noun biology The material or tissue in which more specialized structures are embedded.
  • noun biology An extracellular matrix, the material or tissue between the cells of animals or plants.
  • noun biology Part of the mitochondrion.
  • noun biology The medium in which bacteria are cultured.
  • noun mathematics A rectangular arrangement of numbers or terms having various uses such as transforming coordinates in geometry, solving systems of linear equations in linear algebra and representing graphs in graph theory.
  • noun computing A two-dimensional array.
  • noun A table of data.
  • noun geology A geological matrix, the outer material of a rock consisting of larger grains embedded in a material consisting of smaller ones.
  • noun archaeology The sediment surrounding and including the artifacts, features, and other materials at a site.
  • noun analytical chemistry The environment from which a given sample is taken.

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

  • noun (mathematics) a rectangular array of quantities or expressions set out by rows and columns; treated as a single element and manipulated according to rules
  • noun mold used in the production of phonograph records, type, or other relief surface
  • noun the body substance in which tissue cells are embedded
  • noun an enclosure within which something originates or develops (from the Latin for womb)
  • noun the formative tissue at the base of a nail
  • noun (geology) amass of fine-grained rock in which fossils, crystals, or gems are embedded


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

[Middle English matrice, from Old French, from Late Latin mātrīx, mātrīc-, from Latin, breeding-animal, from māter, mātr-, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French matrice ("pregnant animal"), from Latin mātrīx ("dam, womb"), from māter ("mother").


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