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noun ma·trix \ˈmā-triks\

Simple Definition of matrix

  • : something (such as a situation or a set of conditions) in which something else develops or forms

  • : something shaped like a pattern of lines and spaces

  • : a container that can be filled with a material (such as very hot metal) to give the material a new shape

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of matrix



play \ˈmā-trə-ˌsēz, ˈma-\ or


play \ˈmā-trik-səz\
  1. 1 :  something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form

  2. 2 a :  a mold from which a relief surface (as a piece of type) is made b :  die 3a(1) c :  an engraved or inscribed die or stamp d :  an electroformed impression of a phonograph record used for mass-producing duplicates of the original

  3. 3 a :  the natural material (as soil or rock) in which something (as a fossil or crystal) is embedded b :  material in which something is enclosed or embedded (as for protection or study)

  4. 4 a :  the extracellular substance in which tissue cells (as of connective tissue) are embedded b :  the thickened epithelium at the base of a fingernail or toenail from which new nail substance develops

  5. 5 a :  a rectangular array of mathematical elements (as the coefficients of simultaneous linear equations) that can be combined to form sums and products with similar arrays having an appropriate number of rows and columns b :  something resembling a mathematical matrix especially in rectangular arrangement of elements into rows and columns c :  an array of circuit elements (as diodes and transistors) for performing a specific function

  6. 6 :  a main clause that contains a subordinate clause

Examples of matrix in a sentence

  1. the complex social matrix in which people live their lives

  2. The wires all crossed each other and formed a matrix.

  3. a matrix used for making knives

Did You Know?

In ancient Rome, a matrix was a female animal kept for breeding, or a plant (sometimes called a "parent plant" or "mother plant") whose seeds were used for producing other plants. In English the word has taken on many related meanings. Mathematicians use it for a rectangular organization of numbers or symbols that can be used to make various calculations; geologists use it for the soil or rock in which a fossil is discovered, like a baby in the womb. And matrix was a good choice as the name of the reality in which all humans find themselves living in a famous series of science-fiction films.

Origin and Etymology of matrix

Latin, female animal used for breeding, parent plant, from matr-, mater

First Known Use: 1555

Other Mineralogy Terms

Medical Dictionary


noun ma·trix \ˈmā-triks\

Medical Definition of matrix



\ˈmā-trə-ˌsēz also ˈma-\play or


  1. 1a:  the extracellular substance in which tissue cells (as of connective tissue) are embedded <mineralization of bone matrix>b:  the thickened epithelium at the base of a fingernail or toenail from which new nail substance develops—called also nail bed, nail matrix

  2. 2:  something (as a surrounding or pervading substance or element) within which something else originates or takes form or develops

  3. 3:  a mass by which something is enclosed or in which something is embedded <membrane-bound organelles suspended in the cytoplasmic matrix> <chromatin fibers attach to the nuclear matrix>

  4. 4a:  a strip or band placed so as to serve as a retaining outer wall of a tooth in filling a cavityb:  a metal or porcelain pattern in which an inlay is cast or fused

  5. 5:  the substrate on or within which a fungus grows

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up matrix? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

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