n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. Ecclesiastical The office that formerly constituted together with lauds the first of the seven canonical hours.
b. The time of day appointed for this service, traditionally midnight or 2 AM but often sunrise.
2. often Matins See Morning Prayer.
[Middle English matines, from Old French, from Medieval Latin (vigiliae) mātūtīnae, morning (vigils), feminine pl. of Latin mātūtīnus, of the morning, from Mātūta, goddess of dawn; see mā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.