Definition of matrix
matricesplay \ˈmā-trə-ˌsēz, ˈma-\ or
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 1relief 6) surface (such as a piece of type) is madeb : die 3a(1)c : an engraved or inscribed die (see 2die 3) or stampd : 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 embeddedb : material in which something is enclosed or embedded (as for protection or study)
5a : a rectangular array (see 2array 5) of mathematical elements (such as the coefficients (see coefficient 1) of simultaneous (see simultaneous 2) linear equations) that can be combined to form sums and products with similar arrays having an appropriate number of rows and columnsb : something resembling a mathematical matrix especially in rectangular arrangement of elements into rows and columnsc : an array of circuit elements (such as diodes and transistors) for performing a specific function
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 of matrix from the Web
The establishment pushed the wars and free trade and their partners in the corporate-government matrix agreed to the sending off of capital (and jobs) to foreign lands.
The sheet is stretched over one side of the honeycomb matrix like a drum.
Anyone else consider dock availability in their decision-making matrix?
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of matrix
Latin, female animal used for breeding, parent plant, from matr-, mater
First Known Use: 1555
MATRIX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of matrix for English Language Learners
: 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
Medical Definition of matrix
matrices\ˈmā-trə-ˌsēz also ˈma-\play or
1a: the extracellular substance in which tissue cells (as of connective tissue) are embedded mineralization of bone matrixb: 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 cavityb: a metal or porcelain pattern in which an inlay is cast or fused
5: the substrate on or within which a fungus grows
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up matrix? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).