Definition of matamata
1 : a pleurodiran turtle (Chelus fimbriata) of Guiana and the northern part of Brazil that reaches a length of three feet, has a rough shell and a long neck with fleshy fimbriae on the neck and on the head, and produces eggs that yield an edible oil
2 : any of several South American trees of the genus Eschweilera of the family Lecythidaceae; especially : a tree yielding a heavy hard compact wood used for pilings and foundation construction
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of matamata
Portuguese matamatá, from Tupi
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up matamata? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).