• Match


    • IPA: /mætʃ/
    • Rhymes: -ætʃ

    Origin 1

    From Middle English macche, from Old English mæcca, from gemæcca ("companion, mate, wife, one suited to another")

    Full definition of match



    (plural matches)
    1. (sports) A competitive sporting event such as a boxing meet, a baseball game, or a cricket match.My local team are playing in a match against their arch-rivals today.
    2. Any contest or trial of strength or skill, or to determine superiority.
      • Draytonmany a warlike match
      • DrydenA solemn match was made; he lost the prize.
    3. Someone with a measure of an attribute equaling or exceeding the object of comparison.He knew he had met his match.
      • AddisonGovernment ... makes an innocent man, though of the lowest rank, a match for the mightiest of his fellow subjects.
    4. A marriage.
    5. A candidate for matrimony; one to be gained in marriage.
      • ClarendonShe ... was looked upon as the richest match of the West.
    6. Suitability.
    7. Equivalence; a state of correspondence.
    8. Equality of conditions in contest or competition.
      • ShakespeareIt were no match, your nail against his horn.
    9. A pair of items or entities with mutually suitable characteristics.The carpet and curtains are a match.
    10. An agreement or compact.
      • ShakespeareThy hand upon that match.
      • BoyleLove doth seldom suffer itself to be confined by other matches than those of its own making.
    11. (metalworking) A perforated board, block of plaster, hardened sand, etc., in which a pattern is partly embedded when a mould is made, for giving shape to the surfaces of separation between the parts of the mould.


    1. (intransitive) To agree, to be equal, to correspond to.
      Their interests didn't match, so it took a long time to agree what to do together.
      These two copies are supposed to be identical, but they don't match.
    2. (transitive) To agree, to be equal, to correspond to.
      His interests didn't match her interests.
      • 1927, F. E. Penny, Pulling the Strings Chapter 4, Soon after the arrival of Mrs. Campbell, dinner was announced by Abboye. He came into the drawing room resplendent in his gold-and-white turban. … His cummerbund matched the turban in gold lines.
    3. (transitive) To make a successful match or pairing.
      They found out about his color-blindness when he couldn't match socks properly.
      • 2013-06-01, End of the peer show, Finance is seldom romantic. But the idea of peer-to-peer lending comes close. This is an industry that brings together individual savers and lenders on online platforms. Those that want to borrow are matched with those that want to lend.
    4. (transitive) To equal or exceed in achievement.
      She matched him at every turn: anything he could do, she could do as well or better.
    5. (obsolete) To unite in marriage, to mate.
    6. To fit together, or make suitable for fitting together; specifically, to furnish with a tongue and groove at the edges.
      to match boards

    Derived terms

    Terms derived from match (etymology 1, verb)

    Origin 2

    From Old French meiche, from Vulgar Latin micca (compare Catalan metxa, Spanish mecha, Italian miccia), which in turn is probably from Latin myxa ("nozzle", "curved part of a lamp"), from Ancient Greek (myxa, "lamp wick")



    (plural matches)
    1. Device made of wood or paper, at the tip coated with chemicals that ignite with the friction of being dragged (struck) against a rough dry surface.He struck a match and lit his cigarette.
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