Definition of matrix
- an atmosphere of understanding and friendliness that is the matrix of peace
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
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1555See Words from the same year
: something (such as a situation or a set of conditions) in which something else develops or forms
: something shaped like a pattern of lines and spaces
: a container that can be filled with a material (such as very hot metal) to give the material a new shape
What made you want to look up matrix? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
the quality or fact of being simultaneous
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