match

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
a
: a person or thing equal or similar to another
b
: one able to cope with another
He was no match for his opponent.
c
: an exact counterpart
a lake that was almost the match of one he remembered from Switzerland
2
: a pair suitably associated
carpet and curtains are a match
3
a
: a contest between two or more parties
a golf match
a soccer match
a shouting match
b
: a contest (as in tennis or volleyball) completed when one player or side wins a specified number of sets or games
4
a
: a marriage union
b
: a prospective (see prospective sense 2b) partner in marriage
would make a good match for any man

match

2 of 3

verb

matched; matching; matches

transitive verb

1
a
: to encounter successfully as an antagonist
b(1)
: to set in competition or opposition
(2)
: to provide with a worthy competitor
c
: to set in comparison
2
: to join or give in marriage
3
a(1)
: to put in a set possessing equal or harmonizing attributes
(2)
: to cause to correspond : suit
matched programs to local needs
b(1)
: to be the counterpart of
also : to compare favorably with
(2)
: to harmonize with
the jacket matched the pants
c
: to provide with a counterpart
d
: to provide funds complementary to
employers may match the employee contributionD. J. Miller
4
: to fit together or make suitable for fitting together
5
a
: to flip or toss (coins) and compare exposed faces
b
: to toss coins with

intransitive verb

: to be a counterpart
matchable adjective
matcher noun

match

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: a chemically prepared wick or cord formerly used in firing firearms or powder
2
: a short slender piece of flammable material (such as wood) tipped with a combustible mixture that bursts into flame when slightly heated through friction (as by being scratched against a rough surface)

Examples of match in a Sentence

Verb This color matches your skin tone. She was wearing a beautiful skirt, but her sweater didn't match it. The upbeat music matched her mood. Her skirt and sweater matched perfectly. The pillows on the couch all match. Your socks don't match each other. His story doesn't match the facts. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Via object recognition, the results will be matched to real-world inventory. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office did not identify the person arrested as the former player, but his booking date of birth matches that of Clayton, records show. Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Tone it down with flared jeans and ankle boots, give it a daytime spin with a cardigan draped over, or go for the full formal look with a matching slip skirt and strappy heels. Lane Nieset, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 The nearly one-acre property’s sense of seclusion is matched by its convenience to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods markets, the Houston Racquet Club, and the Houston Country Club. Mark David, Robb Report, 15 Feb. 2024 About a third of Americans match popular image of the middle class About 9 in 10 Americans agreed that these six individual conditions were necessary to belong to the middle class, according to a Washington Post poll ... and retire comfortably. ... Scott Clement, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 The indictment does not specifically identify President Biden nor his son by name, but the descriptions in court papers match their identities. Robert Legare, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2024 Police found a car matching the description they’d been given and told the driver to stop, but the driver didn’t yield, the department alleged. Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2024 Missouri’s nine game-losing streak in SEC play matches the 2015-16 squad, which lost nine in a row after starting 1-1 in conference play. Jaden Lewis, Kansas City Star, 3 Feb. 2024
Noun
When The Rock joined the TKO Board of Directors and netted himself a $30 million payday, one term of the deal was a match against Reigns. Blake Oestriecher, Forbes, 17 Feb. 2024 Photographs and video from the day of the Jordan match show Son with two fingers on his right hand strapped together with a white bandage. Brad Lendon, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 But perhaps the most drastic change has to do with time: instead of playing best of three (or five) sets, play is timed in eight-minute quarters, so an entire match lasts no longer than 40 minutes. Elizabeth Doerr, Robb Report, 15 Feb. 2024 In 2018, cold-case investigators asked the FBI to check the fingerprints again, and this time came up with a match to a missing California woman, the sheriff’s office said. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 15 Feb. 2024 These are all real dates, real people, real matches… and real love! Emily Longeretta, Variety, 15 Feb. 2024 Early indicators — Bill’s workers discuss a Barry McGuigan boxing match; a Dexys Midnight Runners song plays in the background at the pub — place the action in the mid-1980s. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, the stadium reached full capacity during the Inter Miami’s open training session the evening before the match. Chris Lau, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024 MetLife does have a Round of 32 and Round of 16 match so maybe the U.S. can play itself into one of those. Otis Livingston, CBS News, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'match.' 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) and Verb

Middle English macche, from Old English gemæcca mate, equal; akin to Old English macian to make — more at make entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English macche, mecche candlewick, from Anglo-French meche

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun (2)

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near match

Cite this Entry

“Match.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/match. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

match

1 of 3 noun
1
a
: a person or thing that is equal or similar to or exactly like another
b
: one that can compete or fight successfully with another
a match for the enemy
2
: two persons or things that go well together
curtains and carpet are a good match
3
: a contest between two or more parties
a tennis match
4
b
: a person to be considered as a marriage partner

match

2 of 3 verb
1
: to meet successfully as a competitor
2
a
: to place in competition
matched my strength with my friend's
b
: to provide with a worthy competitor
3
: to join or give in marriage
4
a
: to make or find the equal or the like of
b
: to make correspond
c
: to be the same as or suitable to one another
do these colors match?
5
: to flip or toss coins and compare upper surfaces
matcher noun

match

3 of 3 noun
1
: an evenly burning wick or cord formerly used to ignite a charge of powder
2
: a short slender piece of material (as wood) tipped with a mixture that ignites when scratched against something else
Etymology

Noun

Old English gemæcca "mate, equal"

Noun

Middle English macche "a wick," from early French meiche (same meaning)

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