Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.


From Middle English, from Old French matrone, Latin matrona ‎(married woman), from mater ‎(mother)



matron ‎(plural matrons)

  1. A mature woman; a wife or a widow, especially, one who has borne children; a woman of staid or motherly manners.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      your wives, your daughters, your matrons, and your maids
    • Thomas Fuller (1606-1661)
      grave from her cradle, insomuch that she was a matron before she was a mother
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter IX, The Younger Set:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
  2. A housekeeper; especially, a woman who manages the domestic economy of a public institution; a head nurse in a hospital.
    the matron of a school or hospital


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