variants: or matt

Definition of matte 

(Entry 1 of 3)

variant spellings of 1


variants: or less commonly or matt \ˈmat \

Definition of matte (Entry 2 of 3)

: lacking or deprived of luster (see luster entry 2 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


\ˈmat \

Definition of matte (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a crude mixture of sulfides formed in smelting sulfide ores of metals (such as copper, lead, or nickel)

2 : a motion-picture effect in which part of a scene is blocked out and later replaced by footage containing other material (such as a background painting)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for matte

Synonyms: Adjective

dim, dull, dulled, flat, lusterless

Antonyms: Adjective

glossy, lustrous, shiny, sleek

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Examples of matte in a Sentence


a photograph with a matte finish I chose a paint with a matte finish so the walls wouldn't be too shiny.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There’s also a bronzer compact called Give Me Life and the shade is a soft, matte golden bronze that can be used all over or just as a contour. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Who’s Ready for ‘Sandy Crotch’ Eye Shadow?," 31 May 2018 To achieve a soft, matte effect, the lightweight mousse glides on and sets with a powdery matte finish that looks and feels like skin. Marissa Miller, Teen Vogue, "Giorgio Armani Beauty Face Fabric Is Officially Back," 15 Mar. 2018 The details are humble and un-flashy, too; buttery soft, matte leather, a notch lapel, a patch chest pocket, and a single breasted closure. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Daniel Craig's Other Big News: He's Bringing Back the Leather Blazer," 16 Aug. 2017 The formula is really hydrating and leaves behind a satin finish that isn't too matte or too glossy. Carly Cardellino, Cosmopolitan, "The Hottest Fall Lip Colors To Wear Now," 11 Nov. 2013

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Before sticking them to the upper lash line with Duo Eyelash Glue and tweezers, Nelson laid the groundwork with a blend of matte taupe shadows on her lid. Erika Stalder,, "Kristen Stewart's "Pearl Liner" Hack Will Only Cost You $5," 16 May 2018 The main visible part of the boot will have matte pearlescent skin across all the releases despite their individual colour schemes elsewhere on the shoe., "PHOTOS: Nike Launch Brilliant New 'Just Do It' World Cup Boot Pack as Russia 2018 Looms," 9 May 2018 The two matte lip colors are made of the same formula that Markle has locked in as a favorite. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Has Meghan Markle's Favorite Beauty Products at a Discount," 13 July 2018 The dress will be made in Los Angeles of a matte satin fabric. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Here come the Meghan Markle royal wedding gown knockoffs," 25 May 2018 At just five stories, the coffer of pale, sparkling concrete glimmers like mercury against a backdrop of matte towers. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "How Can It Take 15 Years and $32 Million to Build a Neighborhood Library?," 29 Mar. 2018 Her makeup, by Jen Tioseco, was understated with the focus on flawless skin and a nude, matte lip. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Bridal Shop Owner Wore Five Different Dresses for her Palm Springs Wedding," 10 July 2018 Her new Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette has 16 shades in mattes, pearls and metallics that are ideal for warm summer nights. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Packing the ultimate weekender: Our favorite products for your carry-on or beach bag," 9 July 2018 Just before Lima stepped into the limo, Ta dabbed on a brownish matte lip and a wash of illuminating highlighter to her décolletage—just the thing for catching the inevitable gleam of the camera flash. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "How Adriana Lima Got Ready for the amfAR Gala in Cannes," 18 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of matte


circa 1648, in the meaning defined above


1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for matte


French mat, from Old French, faded, defeated


French, from Middle French, crude metal, curdled milk, from feminine of mat thick, dull, matte

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Time Traveler for matte

The first known use of matte was circa 1648

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English Language Learners Definition of matte

: having a surface that is not shiny

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Comments on matte

What made you want to look up matte? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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