noun (1)
\ ˈmach How to pronounce match (audio) \

Definition of match

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
3a : 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
4a : a marriage union
b : a prospective (see prospective sense 2b) partner in marriage would make a good match for any man


matched; matching; matches

Definition of match (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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
3a(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 contribution— D. J. Miller
4 : to fit together or make suitable for fitting together
5a : to flip or toss (coins) and compare exposed faces
b : to toss coins with

intransitive verb

: to be a counterpart


noun (2)

Definition of match (Entry 3 of 3)

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)

Other Words from match


matchable \ ˈma-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce match (audio) \ adjective
matcher noun

Synonyms for match

Synonyms: Verb

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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

First Known Use of match

Noun (1)

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


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

Noun (2)

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for match

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

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Time Traveler for match

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near match

mat board



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Cite this Entry

“Match.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for match


\ ˈmach How to pronounce match (audio) \

Kids Definition of match

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a person or thing that is equal to or as good as another We are a match for our opponents.
2 : a contest between two individuals or teams a tennis match
3 : a thing that is exactly like another thing I'm trying to find a match for this sock.
4 : two people or things that go well together The curtains and carpet are a good match.
5 : marriage sense 1 Your parents made a good match.


matched; matching

Kids Definition of match (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to be the same or suitable to one another The colors of our shirts match.
2 : to choose something that is the same as another or goes with it Try to match this material.
3 : to place in competition The game matched the two former champions.
4 : to be as good as You'll never match her at golf.



Kids Definition of match (Entry 3 of 3)

: a short slender piece of material tipped with a mixture that produces fire when scratched

More from Merriam-Webster on match

Nglish: Translation of match for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of match for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about match


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