matrix

noun
ma·​trix | \ ˈmā-triks How to pronounce matrix (audio) \
plural matrices\ ˈmā-​trə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce matrix (audio) , ˈma-​ \ or matrixes\ ˈmā-​trik-​səz How to pronounce matrix (audio) \

Definition of matrix

1 : something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form an atmosphere of understanding and friendliness that is the matrix of peace
2a : a mold from which a relief (see relief entry 1 sense 6) surface (such as a piece of type) is made
c : an engraved or inscribed die (see die entry 2 sense 3) or stamp
d : an electroformed impression of a phonograph record used for mass-producing duplicates of the original
3a : the natural material (such as soil or rock) in which something (such as a fossil or crystal) is embedded
b : material in which something is enclosed or embedded (as for protection or study)
4a : 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
5a : a rectangular array (see array entry 2 sense 5) of mathematical elements (such as the coefficients (see coefficient sense 1) of simultaneous (see simultaneous sense 2) 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 (such as diodes and transistors) for performing a specific function
6 : a main (see main entry 2 sense 5) clause that contains a subordinate (see subordinate entry 1) clause

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.

Examples of matrix in a Sentence

the complex social matrix in which people live their lives The wires all crossed each other and formed a matrix. a matrix used for making knives
Recent Examples on the Web The watch is openworked, large (45mm) and sporty looking, with a carbon fiber case, crown and chrono pushers, which have a light matrix running through them. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 6 July 2022 Private security guards, as part of their state certification to carry a gun, review a use-of-force matrix spelling out the appropriate level of force for varying levels of resistance. oregonlive, 20 Aug. 2022 The hikes offer some of the clearest evidence to date that the streaming industry’s unprofitable subscription pricing matrix, ostensibly designed to reel in customers in a fiercely competitive field, is quickly approaching unsustainability. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2022 Hardly anybody understands how some decisions are reached at the Olympisch Kwalificatietoernooi, an always volatile mix of perhaps the most competitive Olympic qualifying event in the world and a byzantine selection procedure known as the matrix. New York Times, 1 Feb. 2022 The logistics around transporting grain from a dangerous war zone are also complex and will require buy-in from a matrix of commercial and government players. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 26 July 2022 But there’s a glitch in the matrix; too often, Black Thought’s voice is buried in the mix. Joe Gross, Rolling Stone, 12 Aug. 2022 This process binds the lean and fat particles together in a matrix, Griffin said. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 2 July 2022 It’s his hometown, and it’s the matrix of memory, love, and spirit rooted there. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'matrix.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of matrix

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for matrix

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

Learn More About matrix

Dictionary Entries Near matrix

matrisib

matrix

matrix algebra

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Matrix.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matrix. Accessed 30 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for matrix

matrix

noun
ma·​trix | \ ˈmā-triks How to pronounce matrix (audio) \
plural matrices\ ˈmā-​trə-​ˌsēz also ˈma-​ \ or matrixes

Medical Definition of matrix

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 : something (as a surrounding or pervading substance or element) within which something else originates or takes form or develops
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
4a : a strip or band placed so as to serve as a retaining outer wall of a tooth in filling a cavity
b : a metal or porcelain pattern in which an inlay is cast or fused
5 : the substrate on or within which a fungus grows

More from Merriam-Webster on matrix

Nglish: Translation of matrix for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of matrix for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about matrix

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