mate

1 of 5

verb (1)

mated; mating

mate

2 of 5

noun (1)

mate

3 of 5

noun (2)

1
(2)
chiefly British : an assistant to a more skilled worker : helper
(3)
chiefly British : friend, buddy
often used as a familiar form of address
b
archaic : match, peer
2
: a deck officer on a merchant ship ranking below the captain
3
: one of a pair: such as
a
: either member of a couple and especially a married couple
b
: either member of a breeding pair of animals
c
: either of two matched objects

mate

4 of 5

verb (2)

mated; mating

transitive verb

1
archaic : equal, match
2
: to join or fit together : couple
3
a
: to join together as mates
b
: to provide a mate for

intransitive verb

1
: to become mated
gears that mate well
2

maté

5 of 5

noun (3)

ma·​té ˈmä-ˌtā How to pronounce maté (audio)
variants or mate
1
: a tealike beverage drunk especially in South America
2
: a South American shrub or tree (Ilex paraguariensis) of the holly family whose leaves and shoots are used in making maté
also : these leaves and shoots

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French mater, from mat, noun, checkmate, ultimately from Arabic māt (in shāh māt)

Noun (2)

Middle English, probably from Middle Low German māt; akin to Old English gemetta guest at one's table, mete food — more at meat

Noun (3)

French & American Spanish; French maté, from American Spanish mate maté, vessel for drinking it, from Quechua mati vessel

First Known Use

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb (2)

1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (3)

1758, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near mate

Cite this Entry

“Mate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mate. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

mate 1 of 3

noun

1
b
: an assistant worker : helper
plumber's mate
2
: a deck officer on a merchant ship ranking below the captain
3
a
: either member of a married couple
b
: one of a breeding pair of animals
a dove and its mate
c
: either of two matched objects
the mate to a glove

mate

2 of 3

verb

mated; mating
1
: to join or fit together
2
a
: to bring or come together as mates
especially : marry entry 1 sense 1
b
: to provide a mate for
3
mate with
: to take as a mate

maté

3 of 3

noun

ma·​té
variants or mate
: a fragrant beverage made from the leaves and shoots of a South American shrub or tree related to the hollies
also : this shrub or tree or its leaves and shoots

Medical Definition

mate 1 of 2

verb

mated; mating

transitive verb

: to pair or join for breeding

maté

2 of 2

noun

ma·​té
variants or mate
1
: an aromatic beverage used chiefly in South America and especially in Paraguay that has stimulant properties like those of coffee
2
: a South American holly (Ilex paraguayensis) whose leaves and shoots are used in making maté
also : these leaves and shoots

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