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 It’s his hometown, and it’s the matrix of memory, love, and spirit rooted there. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, 19 July 2022 To be sure, one of the most enchanting aspects of the Black Mountain universe is seeing the matrix of influence among the artists. New York Times, 7 July 2022 Ever-changing recommendations have also created an impossible-to-navigate matrix of eligibility. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 28 June 2022 The legal battle over the state’s matrix of rules continues to unfold at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — and a key opinion pending at the U.S. Supreme Court could rewrite how such cases are decided nationwide. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 June 2022 Fine tannins well enfolded into a chunky matrix of red fruit and clean acidity. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 22 May 2022 These bubbles of carbon dioxide, caught and held by the stretchy matrix of flour proteins, are the by-product of respiration as the yeasts and bacteria metabolize the starches. Benjamin, Longreads, 20 May 2022 The faster, better, cheaper matrix consumers rely on to make their purchases would be broken. Rajshree Agarwal, Forbes, 21 June 2022 How else to make sense of the latest concepts in mattress technology—for instance, hyperelastic polymer, buckling column gel, phase-change molecule fabrics, ballistocardiograph sensors, ice fabric, and 3-D-matrix layers? Patricia Marx, The New Yorker, 20 June 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

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Matrix.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matrix. Accessed 9 Aug. 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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