mat

1 of 6

noun (1)

1
a(1)
: a piece of coarse, woven, plaited, or felted fabric used especially as a floor covering or a support
(2)
: a piece of material placed at a door for wiping soiled shoe soles
b
: a decorative piece of material used under a small item (such as a dish) especially for support or protection
c
: a large thick pad or cushion used as a surface for wrestling, tumbling, and gymnastics
2
: something made up of densely tangled or adhering filaments or strands especially of organic matter
an algal mat
a mat of unkempt hair
3
: a large slab usually of reinforced concrete used as the supporting base of a building

mat

2 of 6

verb (1)

matted; matting

transitive verb

1
: to provide with a mat or matting
2
a
: to form into a tangled mass
dirt and filth matted her hair
b
: to pack down so as to form a dense mass

intransitive verb

: to become matted

mat

3 of 6

verb (2)

matted; matting

transitive verb

1
or less commonly matte or matt : to make (something, such as a metal, glass, or color) matte
2
: to provide (a picture) with a mat

mat

4 of 6

adjective

less common spelling of matte entry 2

: lacking or deprived of luster (see luster entry 1 sense 1) or gloss: such as
a
: having a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights
matte metals
a matte finish
b
: having a rough or granular (see granular sense 1) surface

mat

5 of 6

noun (2)

: a border going around a picture between picture and frame or serving as the frame

mat

6 of 6

noun (3)

Examples of mat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Step 1: Lie prone (on your stomach) on a mat with your legs extended, ankles slightly plantarflexed (toes pointing away from your shins), arms extended overhead with palms facing each other. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 May 2024 Pikler triangles, indoor and outdoor climbing toys, play mats, and more options to practice those important toddler motor skills. Heather Balogh Rochfort, Parents, 18 May 2024 The nightly turndown service comes with a padded floor mat, solidifying that this is anything but the average hotel stay. Martie Bowser, Essence, 16 May 2024 Thanks to these heavy-duty, dishwasher-safe mats, which are safe to use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the dreadful task of cleaning our oven is significantly simplified. Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 12 May 2024 The options on the test EV are: the special paint for $695, the GT-Line 2nd row relaxation package for $2,000, the carpeted floor mats for $225, and the carpet rear cargo mat with seat back protection for $115. Tony Leopardo, The Mercury News, 12 May 2024 This mat is made with linen and filled with coconut fiber. Nora Colomer, Fox News, 9 May 2024 This supportive pair is designed with footbeds made from yoga mats for truly unparalleled comfort, while the adjustable straps allow for the perfect fit every time. Merrell Readman, Travel + Leisure, 11 May 2024 Pack your yoga mats in the car and do a yoga session on the beach. Lauryn Jiles, Miami Herald, 9 May 2024
Verb
Dogs with matting experience pain when touched, but crave the affection of being petted. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 4 Apr. 2024 Blood is matted into the white paintwork and dark upholstery. Matthew Mulligan, NBC News, 7 July 2023 How to prevent fur matting Brush your dog's hair down to the skin often. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 4 Apr. 2024 Rabbit adopters must perform perpetual grooming to keep the rabbit’s fur from matting and must keep a close eye on the bunnies’ diet and poops. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2024 The matting situation was so bad that staff at HSTB had to sedate him in order to shave him. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 But if that's the case, Chen Moonves better start working on her eyebrow arch and mat chat skills. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 9 Aug. 2023 To avoid tangling and matting, Koudou recommends spraying the ends with water and brushing the hair out lightly. Annie Blay, Allure, 19 Jan. 2024 This is particularly important for breeds with long or dense fur prone to matting. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English meatte, from Late Latin matta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew miṭṭāh bed

Noun (2)

French mat dull color, unpolished surface, from mat, adjective — more at matte

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb (1)

1549, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1845, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mat was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near mat

Cite this Entry

“Mat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mat. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

mat

1 of 5 noun
1
a
: a piece of coarse fabric of rush, straw, or wool
b
: a piece of material in front of a door to wipe dirty shoe soles on
c
: a decorative piece of material used under a dish or vase
d
: a pad or cushion for gymnastics or wrestling
2
: something made up of many tangled strands
a thick mat of vegetation

mat

2 of 5 verb
matted; matting
1
: to provide with a mat or matting
2
: to become or cause to become a tangled mass

mat

3 of 5 verb
matted; matting
1
also matte or matt : to give a dull effect to
2
: to border (a picture) with a mat

mat

4 of 5

variant of matte entry 2

mat

5 of 5 noun
1
: a border of stiff paper (as cardboard) going around a picture between picture and frame or serving as the frame
2
: a dull finish
Etymology

Noun

Old English meatte "mat," from Latin matta (same meaning); of Semitic origin

Medical Definition

mat

1 of 2 adjective
variants or matt or matte
1
: lacking or deprived of luster or gloss : having a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights
2
: having a coarse rough rugose or granular surface
bacteria that form mat colonies on agar

mat

2 of 2 noun
: a mat colony of bacteria

More from Merriam-Webster on mat

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