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mat 1 (măt)
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n.
1. A flat piece of coarse fabric or other material used for wiping one's shoes or feet, or in various other forms as a floor covering.
2. A small flat piece of decorated material placed under a lamp, dish of food, or other object.
3. Sports A floor pad to protect athletes, as in wrestling or gymnastics.
4. A densely woven or thickly tangled mass: a mat of hair.
5. The solid part of a lace design.
6. A heavy woven net of rope or wire cable placed over a blasting site to keep debris from scattering.
v. mat·ted, mat·ting, mats
v.tr.
1. To cover, protect, or decorate with mats or a mat.
2. To pack or interweave into a thick mass: High winds matted the leaves against the base of the fence.
v.intr.
To be packed or interwoven into a thick mass; become entangled.

[Middle English matte, from Old English matta, meatte, from Late Latin matta, of Phoenician origin; see ny in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
mat 2 (măt)
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n.
1. A decorative border placed around a picture to serve as a frame or provide contrast between the picture and the frame.
2. also matte
a. A dull, often rough finish, as of paint, glass, metal, or paper.
b. A special tool for producing such a surface or finish.
3. Printing See matrix.
tr.v. mat·ted, mat·ting, mats
1. To put a mat around (a picture).
2. To produce a dull finish on.
adj.
Variant of matte1.

[From French, dull, from Old French, defeated, withered, perhaps from Latin mattus, stupefied, senseless, possibly from *maditus, past participle of madēre, to be wet.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
MAT
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abbr.
Master of Arts in Teaching

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
mat.
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abbr.
matinee

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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