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See also: Matrix and mátrix



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


  • (file)
  • 1: enPR: māʹtrĭks; IPA(key): /ˈmeɪtɹɪks/
  • 2: enPR: măʹtrĭks; IPA(key): /ˈmætɹɪks/


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.
    • 1987 [1985], Roger A. Horn, Charles R. Johnson, Matrix Analysis, Cambridge University Press, 1990, Paperback Edition, page 464,
      Theorem (7.5.2) then says that every positive semidefinite matrix is a convex combination of matrices that lie on extreme rays.
    • 2003, Robert A. Liebler, Basic Matrix Algebra with Algorithms and Applications, CRC Press (Chapman & Hall/CRC), page 64,
      Check that the   in the example is itself the adjacency matrix of the indicated digraph:
    • 2007, Gerhard Kloos, Matrix Methods for Optical Layout, SPIE Press, page 25,
      The matrix describing the reflection at a plane mirror can be obtained by taking the matrix for reflection at a spherical reflector and letting the radius of the spherical mirror tend to infinity.
  7. (computing) A two-dimensional array.
  8. (electronics) A grid-like arrangement of electronic components, especially one intended for information coding, decoding or storage.
    • 2002, B. Somantathan Nair, Digital Electronics and Logic Design
      Diode matrix is the most fundamental of all ROM structure.
    • 1987, David Ardayfio, Fundamentals of Robotics
      Robot controllers range in complexity from simple stepping switches through pneumatic logic sequencers, diode matrix boards, electronic sequencers, and microprocessors to minicomputers.
    • 1962, Burroughs Corporation, Digital Computer Principles
      A transistor-diode matrix is composed of vertical and horizontal wires with a transistor at each intersection.
    • 1959, John Millar Carroll, Modern Transistor Circuits
      The transistor matrix in the encoder supplies the sequential gates.
  9. A table of data.
  10. (geology) A geological matrix.
  11. (archaeology and paleontology) The sediment surrounding and including the artifacts, features, and other materials at a site.
  12. (analytical chemistry) The environment from which a given sample is taken.
  13. (printing, historical) In hot metal typesetting, a mold for casting a letter.
  14. (printing, historical) In printmaking, the plate or block used, with ink, to hold the image that makes up the print.
  15. The cavity or mold in which anything is formed.
  16. (dyeing) The five simple colours (black, white, blue, red, and yellow) from which all the others are formed.
  17. (material science) A binding agent of composite materials, e.g. resin in fibreglass.



Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.




  1. (mathematics) matrix




Ultimately from Latin mātrīx. Cognate with matrijs. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmaːtrɪks/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ma‧trix


matrix f (plural matrices or matrixen, diminutive matrixje n)

  1. (mathematics) matrix (type of array)

Derived termsEdit



From māter (mother).



mātrīx f (genitive mātrīcis); third declension

  1. uterus, womb
  2. dam (non-human female animal kept for breeding)
  3. source, origin
  4. list, register


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative mātrīx mātrīcēs
Genitive mātrīcis mātrīcum
Dative mātrīcī mātrīcibus
Accusative mātrīcem mātrīcēs
Ablative mātrīce mātrīcibus
Vocative mātrīx mātrīcēs

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

see māter