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

  • adjective Having reached full natural growth or development.
  • adjective Having reached a desired or final condition; ripe.
  • adjective Having or showing characteristics, such as patience and prudence, considered typical of well-balanced adulthood.
  • adjective Suitable or intended for adults.
  • adjective Composed of adults.
  • adjective Worked out fully by the mind; considered.
  • adjective Having reached the limit of its time; due.
  • adjective No longer subject to great expansion or development. Used of an industry, market, or product.
  • adjective Geology Having reached maximum development of form. Used of streams and landforms.
  • intransitive verb To bring to full development; ripen.
  • intransitive verb To work out fully in the mind.
  • intransitive verb To evolve toward or reach full development.
  • intransitive verb To become due. Used of notes and bonds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In physical geography and geology, noting the stage of maximum development; specifically, rioting a stage in the cycle of erosion when the fullest development of variety in forms and of activity in processes is attained.
  • To cause to ripen; bring to maturity: as, to mature ale.
  • To elaborate or carry to completion; make ripe or ready for use or action: as, to mature one's plans.
  • In medicine, to bring to a state of perfect suppuration; maturate.
  • To come to a state of ripeness; become ripe or perfect: as, wine matures by age or by agitation in a long voyage; the judgment matures by age and experience.
  • In com., to reach the time fixed for payment, or for payment of the principal, as distinguished from instalments of interest: as, a bill matures on a certain date.
  • In medicine, to come to a state of perfect suppuration.
  • Complete in natural growth or development; fully grown or ripened; ripe: as, mature grain or fruit; a person of mature age; mature in judgment.
  • Completely elaborated or prepared; brought to maturity; ready for use or execution; fully evolved; ample; thorough: as, a result of mature deliberation.
  • In medicine, in a state of perfect suppuration.
  • In com., become payable; having reached the time fixed for payment; fully due.
  • Synonyms and Mature, Ripe, digested, well-considered. Mature and ripe both primarily denote the result of the process of physical growth. Ripe emphasizes simply the result: the fruit needs no more nourishment from the stock, and further change will be to over-ripeness and decay. Mature combines with the idea of the result the further suggestion of the process by which the result was reached. Further, ripe always seems figurative when applied to anything besides fruit, especially fruit growing above ground: to speak of a ripe scholar, or a ripened judgment, is distinctly figurative. Mature, on the other hand, seems quite as literal now in the secondary as in the primary sense. The same distinction exists between the verbs and between the nouns corresponding to these adjectives.

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

  • transitive verb To bring or hasten to maturity; to promote ripeness in; to ripen; to complete.
  • adjective Brought by natural process to completeness of growth and development; fitted by growth and development for any function, action, or state, appropriate to its kind; full-grown; ripe.
  • adjective Completely worked out; fully digested or prepared; ready for action; made ready for destined application or use; perfected.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to a condition of full development.
  • adjective Come to, or in a state of, completed suppuration.
  • intransitive verb To advance toward maturity; to become ripe
  • intransitive verb Hence, to become due, as a note.

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

  • adjective Fully developed; grown up in terms of physical appearance, behaviour or thinking; ripe.
  • adjective Profound; careful.
  • verb intransitive, of food To become mature; to ripen.
  • verb intransitive To gain experience or wisdom with age.
  • verb intransitive (finance) To reach the date when payment is due

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

  • verb cause to ripen and discharge pus
  • verb become due for repayment
  • adjective (of birds) having developed feathers or plumage; often used in combination
  • verb cause to ripen or develop fully
  • adjective fully developed or matured and ready to be eaten or used
  • adjective having reached full natural growth or development
  • verb develop and work out fully in one's mind
  • verb develop and reach maturity; undergo maturation
  • adjective fully considered and perfected
  • verb grow old or older
  • adjective characteristic of maturity


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin mātūrus; see mā- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • I hate it when it's pronounced mah-tyour.

    July 21, 2009

  • What a coincidence. I hate it when it's pronounced any other way.

    July 21, 2009

  • an odd instance of yod-dropping conveying higher class rather than low. consider 'Toosday' vs. 'Tyuusday' and the whole body of the same.

    July 21, 2009

  • Who's on yod dooties today?

    July 21, 2009

  • Garrison Keillor pronounces it "mah-tour", which sounds very sophisticated to my ear.

    I think most people around here (including me) pronounce it "mah-chur".

    July 22, 2009

  • Ptero, since you are the Lord of All Regionalisms Maps, is there one for U.S. regions for this word? I'm asking because although I've heard folks with Brit (and Brit-like) accents pronounce it either way, I don't recall hearing many Americans (or any) pronounce it "mah-tour"... unless they're trying to sound British.

    P.S. I can't listen to Garrison Keillor until he stops heavy-breathing into the mike, to the point where I can hear his nosehairs vibrating. Eugh.

    July 22, 2009

  • In the How I Met Your Mother (Season 4) episode Three Days of Snow Marshall says /məˈtʃʊɚ/ or I think even /məˈtʃjʊɚ/ while Lily pronounces it /məˈtʊɚ/, which was new to me, though listed first on Robin also says /məˈtʊɚ/ and moreover especially stressed the word (twice), which however might have semantic reasons.

    July 23, 2009