English

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Etymology

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From Malay mata-mata (eyes), plural of mata. Doublet of maka, from Hawaiian.

Noun

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mata-mata (plural mata-matas)

  1. (Singapore, Malaysia, slang) A police officer.

Anagrams

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Indonesian

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Etymology

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Inherited from Malay mata-mata, equivalent to Reduplication of mata (eye).

Noun

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mata-mata

  1. plural of mata

Noun

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mata-mata (plural para mata-mata)

  1. spy (a person who secretly watches and examines the actions of other individuals or organizations and gathers information on them (usually to gain an advantage))
    Synonyms: pengintai, agen rahasia, intelijen

Usage notes

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Derived terms

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Affixed terms

Further reading

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Malay

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Etymology

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Reduplication of mata (eye).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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mata-mata (Jawi spelling مات٢)

  1. Plural of mata.

Noun

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mata-mata (Jawi spelling مات٢, plural banyak mata-mata)

  1. A police officer.
    Synonyms: polis, perajurit
  2. A spy.
    Synonyms: ejen rahsia, pengintip, perisik, luluk

Usage notes

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The word is part of false friends between Standard Malay and Indonesian due to shared etymology. The Indonesian usage can be seen in Indonesian mata-mata.

Descendants

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  • > Indonesian: mata-mata (inherited)
  • English: mata-mata
  • Chinese: 馬打马打 (mǎdǎ)
  • ? Vietnamese: mã tà

Further reading

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Portuguese

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Pronounce

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Etymology 1

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Noun

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mata-mata f (plural mata-matas)

  1. (Brazil) Alternative spelling of matamatá

Etymology 2

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Noun

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mata-mata m (plural mata-matas)

  1. (Brazil, sports) playoff
  2. (Brazil, sports) knockout, qualifying round, (UK) tie (tournament in which a team or player must beat the opponent in order to progress)

Further reading

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