• Matrix

    Pronunciation

    • 1: enPR: māʹtrĭks; IPA: /ˈmeɪtɹɪks/
    • 2: enPR: măʹtrĭks; IPA: /ˈmætɹɪks/

    Origin

    From Old French matrice ("pregnant animal"), from Latin mātrīx ("dam, womb"), from māter ("mother").

    Full definition of matrix

    Noun

    matrix

    (plural matrices or matrixes)
    1. (now rare) The womb.
      • 1646, Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, III.17:upon conception the inward orifice of the matrix exactly closeth, so that it commonly admitteth nothing after ....
      • 1969, Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor, Penguin 2011, p. 296:In very rare cases, when the matrix just goes on pegging away automatically, the doctor can take advantage of that and ease out the second brat who then can be considered to be, say, three minutes younger ....
    2. (biology) The material or tissue in which more specialized structures are embedded.
    3. (biology) An extracellular matrix, the material or tissue between the cells of animals or plants.
    4. (biology) Part of the mitochondrion.
    5. (biology) The medium in which bacteria are cultured.
    6. (mathematics) A rectangular arrangement of numbers or terms having various uses such as transforming coordinates in geometry, solving systems of linear equations in linear algebra and representing graphs in graph theory.
    7. (computing) A two-dimensional array.
    8. A table of data.
    9. (geology) A geological matrix, the outer material of a rock consisting of larger grains embedded in a material consisting of smaller ones.
    10. (archaeology) The sediment surrounding and including the artifacts, features, and other materials at a site.
    11. (analytical chemistry) The environment from which a given sample is taken.

    Synonyms

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