mat

1 of 6

noun (1)

1
a(1)
: a piece of coarse, woven, plaited, or felted fabric used especially as a floor covering or a support
(2)
: a piece of material placed at a door for wiping soiled shoe soles
b
: a decorative piece of material used under a small item (such as a dish) especially for support or protection
c
: a large thick pad or cushion used as a surface for wrestling, tumbling, and gymnastics
2
: something made up of densely tangled or adhering filaments or strands especially of organic matter
an algal mat
a mat of unkempt hair
3
: a large slab usually of reinforced concrete used as the supporting base of a building

mat

2 of 6

verb (1)

matted; matting

transitive verb

1
: to provide with a mat or matting
2
a
: to form into a tangled mass
dirt and filth matted her hair
b
: to pack down so as to form a dense mass

intransitive verb

: to become matted

mat

3 of 6

verb (2)

matted; matting

transitive verb

1
or less commonly matte or matt : to make (something, such as a metal, glass, or color) matte
2
: to provide (a picture) with a mat

mat

4 of 6

adjective

less common spelling of matte entry 2

: lacking or deprived of luster (see luster entry 1 sense 1) or gloss: such as
a
: having a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights
matte metals
a matte finish
b
: having a rough or granular (see granular sense 1) surface

mat

5 of 6

noun (2)

: a border going around a picture between picture and frame or serving as the frame

mat

6 of 6

noun (3)

Examples of mat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Wrestling starts at 9 a.m., finals begin 1:45 p.m. Saturday on five mats. Kevin J. Farmer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Feb. 2024 For the Valentine who loves to cook, bake or just meal prep for workout days, an anti-fatigue mat will give your beloved more pain-free hours on his or her feet. Jamie Gold, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Harford Tech opened the day wrestling Middletown, while South Carroll was beating Henry E. Lackey on an adjacent mat. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 11 Feb. 2024 The mats come in more than 50 watercolor-style patterns, including flowers, lemons, vegetables, birds, and more. Lauren Taylor, Southern Living, 8 Feb. 2024 Farmers lay the vanilla pods out on mats to dry in the sun for several months in order to transform the fruit into aroma-producing thin dark stems. Leila Miller, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 To achieve the perfect macaron size without a mat, draw 1½-inch circles on a sheet of parchment paper. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, 3 Feb. 2024 With help from athletic boosters and the community Alameda bought a wrestling mat and added two coaches to Spencer’s staff. Nathan Canilao, The Mercury News, 31 Jan. 2024 At the Fairmount Community Library among the fiction, nonfiction and biography bookshelves, yoga teacher Brooke Blankenship led a group of young, energetic yogis to their purple yoga mats. Lina Ruiz, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 24 Jan. 2024
Verb
To avoid tangling and matting, Koudou recommends spraying the ends with water and brushing the hair out lightly. Annie Blay, Allure, 19 Jan. 2024 This is particularly important for breeds with long or dense fur prone to matting. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 This helps prevent future matting while keeping your dog's coat healthy and shiny. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 Buttar expressed her shock at the lack of adequate crash matting and remarked during the sentencing that Watts was lucky to be alive, according to the news release. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 The investigation also cited other failings, including a lack of inspection of Watts’ harness within the last six months and the failure to extend crash matting after the sequence of the stunt was changed. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 27 Nov. 2023 The wavy brown hair of the killer matted down by earmuffs. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 The screen is surrounded by white matting with a thin black frame around it. Will Greenwald, PCMAG, 14 Sep. 2023 Some shampoos may be explicitly formulated for long-haired breeds or those prone to matting. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English meatte, from Late Latin matta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew miṭṭāh bed

Noun (2)

French mat dull color, unpolished surface, from mat, adjective — more at matte

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb (1)

1549, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1845, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mat was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mat

Cite this Entry

“Mat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mat. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

mat

1 of 5 noun
1
a
: a piece of coarse fabric of rush, straw, or wool
b
: a piece of material in front of a door to wipe dirty shoe soles on
c
: a decorative piece of material used under a dish or vase
d
: a pad or cushion for gymnastics or wrestling
2
: something made up of many tangled strands
a thick mat of vegetation

mat

2 of 5 verb
matted; matting
1
: to provide with a mat or matting
2
: to become or cause to become a tangled mass

mat

3 of 5 verb
matted; matting
1
also matte or matt : to give a dull effect to
2
: to border (a picture) with a mat

mat

4 of 5

variant of matte entry 2

mat

5 of 5 noun
1
: a border of stiff paper (as cardboard) going around a picture between picture and frame or serving as the frame
2
: a dull finish
Etymology

Noun

Old English meatte "mat," from Latin matta (same meaning); of Semitic origin

Medical Definition

mat

1 of 2 adjective
variants or matt or matte
1
: lacking or deprived of luster or gloss : having a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights
2
: having a coarse rough rugose or granular surface
bacteria that form mat colonies on agar

mat

2 of 2 noun
: a mat colony of bacteria

More from Merriam-Webster on mat

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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