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.
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 WebThere was a little bit of, like, a glitch in the matrix after the pandemic or something, like the thing appeared to be seamless and then wasn’t.
Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2022 It was humpbacked, and the size of a border collie, but with details obscured by the limestone matrix, as if painted over with cake batter.
Richard Conniff, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2022 Though the 2020 positive was Cox’s second class C violation in a 365-day span, state stewards gave him a $500 fine instead of the 10-30 day suspension consistent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s penalty matrix.
Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 17 May 2022 Nearly everything warranted a double take, and some looks were even sent down the runway twice, in slightly different colors, as a way to further play into the glitch-in-the-matrix concept.
Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Oct. 2022 Cherry mocha matrix of aromas that also include blackberries, peat, wild bramble and dark licorice.
Tom Mullen, Forbes, 3 July 2022 Whether Audi will design its own platform or use a Porsche matrix is still unclear, but if Ingolstadt can have things its way, Lamborghini and Bentley are likely to get bespoke spinoffs.
Georg Kacher, Car and Driver, 3 Oct. 2022 In Arkansas, the Legislature funds public schools through a spending matrix that allocates funding to school districts.
Neal Earley, Arkansas Online, 2 Oct. 2022 Soon after, a company called Project December released a version of just such a personality matrix.
Stephen Marche, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 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.
Latin, female animal used for breeding, parent plant, from matr-, mater