Definitions

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

  • noun A nesting doll that is part of a set and is decorated with the features of a woman in traditional Russian dress.

Etymologies

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

[Russian matrëška, from diminutive of Matrëna, feminine personal name (associated in popular tradition with the mothers of large peasant families), from earlier Matrona, ultimately from Latin mātrōna, matron; see matron.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Russian матрёшка (matrjóška), from personal name Матрёна, formerly Матрона, ultimately from Latin mātrōna ("matron").

Examples

  • Grape leaves are a narrative dish: each ingredient speaks as the package unfolds, containing multitudes, little edible matryoshka dolls.

    Day of Honey

  • Their family portraits make them seem like a lengthy series of matryoshka, all dressed and groomed alike.

    Will the Duggars Inherit the Earth? - Boing Boing

  • Grape leaves are a narrative dish: each ingredient speaks as the package unfolds, containing multitudes, little edible matryoshka dolls.

    Day of Honey

  • Tara arranged the shapeshifting matryoshka in order.

    Rogue Oracle

  • On the dresser was a painted Russian doll, a matryoshka.

    Rogue Oracle

  • Tara arranged the shapeshifting matryoshka in order.

    Rogue Oracle

  • On the dresser was a painted Russian doll, a matryoshka.

    Rogue Oracle

  • Look, the big box actually contained lots of smaller boxes, Russian matryoshka style … and the last one contained a Swiss army knife the kid had bought for himself, thanks to mum's handy one-click Amazon account.

    Everything will be better next year!

  • Any other matryoshka Tara had seen had been the same: six or eight successively smaller nested dolls, all depicting idyllic country girls in cheerful colors.

    Rogue Oracle

  • Any other matryoshka Tara had seen had been the same: six or eight successively smaller nested dolls, all depicting idyllic country girls in cheerful colors.

    Rogue Oracle

Comments

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  • Russian hollow wooden doll. (from Phrontistery)

    May 23, 2008

  • A matryoshka doll or a Russian nested doll, also called a stacking doll or Babooshka doll, is a set of dolls of decreasing sizes placed one inside the other. "Matryoshka" is a derivative of the Russian female first name "Matryona", which is traditionally associated with a fat, robust Russian woman.

    July 21, 2008

  • Reesetee!! It has a name!!

    July 24, 2008

  • Cool! Added. :-)

    July 25, 2008

  • c_b, why would you be surprised that a prime cultural icon of a major world society has a name? I can't think of why it wouldn't have a name. It'd be like Americans never having gotten around to naming baseball. "Gee, what is that thing I take my son to every Saturday morning where they throw the ball around and run between the bases if they hit it?"

    July 26, 2008

  • I was telling Reesetee that this word might be a good candidate for the list called "It Has a Name." Is that okay with you?

    July 27, 2008

  • i thought most people knew this word! that's kind of adorable.

    July 27, 2008

  • Aww, gluppit the prawling strangles, will ya? That's not at all what I meant c_b.

    July 28, 2008

  • What did you mean, bilb? I took that for a bit of sarcasm myself.

    Signed,

    Will I Ever Catch Up with These Goldurned Comments?

    July 28, 2008

  • Well, the It Has A Name category presupposes (to me) that the thing/concept is so obscure that it seems it most probably wouldn't have a name.

    Try this:

    - there's a word for having rounded buttocks that resemble the two shapeliest hills of the seven in downtown Amman?

    - there's a word for Russian dolls?

    The latter doesn't have enough wow in it for me, so I was inviting c_b to explain why there was wow in it for her.

    July 28, 2008