Etymology: Middle English, from Old English meatte, from Late Latin matta, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew miṭṭāh bed
Date: before 12th century
(1) a piece of coarse, woven, plaited, or felted fabric used especially as a floor covering or a support
(2) a piece of material placed at a door for wiping soiled shoe soles
b. a decorative piece of material used under a small item (as a dish) especially for support or protection
c. a large thick pad or cushion used as a surface for wrestling, tumbling, and gymnastics
2. something made up of densely tangled or adhering filaments or strands especially of organic matter <an algal mat> <a mat of unkempt hair> 3. a large slab usually of reinforced concrete used as the supporting base of a building II. verb (matted; matting) Date: 1549 transitive verb 1. to provide with a mat or matting 2. a. to form into a tangled mass <dirt and filth matted her hair> b. to pack down so as to form a dense mass intransitive verb to become matted III. transitive verb (matted; matting) Date: 1602 1. (also matte) (or matt) to make (as a metal, glass, or color) matte 2. to provide (a picture) with a mat IV. variant of matte II V. noun Etymology: French mat dull color, unpolished surface, from mat, adjective — more at matte Date: 1845 a border going around a picture between picture and frame or serving as the frame VI. noun Date: 1904 matrix 2a
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.