Main definitions of mate in English

: maté1mate2mate3

maté1

noun

mass noun
  • 1A bitter infusion of the leaves of a South American shrub, which is high in caffeine.

    ‘maté has an agreeable slightly aromatic odor’
    • ‘A popular social pastime is the drinking of maté, a tea made from the leaves of a plant related to holly.’
    • ‘He might be found lying in bed, drinking a cup of maté with seven sugars and reading a new poem to his friend.’
    • ‘One famous pastime is drinking maté, a Paraguayan tea made from holly leaves.’
    • ‘We drink it through a bombilla, the little metal suckable strainer they also use in Argentina to drink maté, an exuberantly undrinkable local tea brewed from some violent green shrub.’
    • ‘Other dried plant substances used to make infused drinks are chicory (dried root), cocoa (dried powdered seeds), guarana (dried powdered seeds, made into smoked cakes), cola ‘nut’ (dried powdered seeds), and maté (dried leaves).’
    1. 1.1 The leaves of the maté shrub.
  • 2The South American shrub of the holly family which produces maté leaves.

    Ilex paraguariensis, family Aquifoliaceae

    • ‘Drinks made of yerba maté are ubiquitous.’

Origin

Early 18th century: from Spanish mate, from Quechua mati.

Pronunciation

maté

/ˈmateɪ/

Main definitions of mate in English

: maté1mate2mate3

mate2

noun

  • 1The sexual partner of a bird or other animal.

    ‘a male bird sings to court a mate’
    • ‘This was the time when the birds were believed to choose their mate for the spring.’
    • ‘A randy tortoise is on the run after scaling a two-foot wall in search of a new partner after his mate of 38 years died.’
    • ‘The bird lives there for free along with his mates and fledglings.’
    • ‘When an incubating bird is relieved by its returning mate, it leaves the nest immediately and flies away from the island.’
    • ‘Many are still waiting, but some morning soon they too will wake to the lilt of a backyard bird pleading for a mate.’
    • ‘Both admitted intentionally killing a wild bird, injuring its mate and having a loaded air rifle without lawful authority.’
    • ‘Even animals have their mates, although some just procreate and leave.’
    • ‘The male partner will provision his mate with food but does not go into the maternity den.’
    • ‘In medieval times, there was a romantic belief that birds chose their mate in February.’
    • ‘At this stage males still accept additional mates and are actively courting.’
    • ‘The birds attract mates by the color intensity of their feathers - a signal of their desirability.’
    • ‘He then told them that he would take all steps necessary so that the zoo gets new species of animals and mates for those animals that are single now.’
    • ‘Whenever possible, we selected birds whose mates were present at the nest to ensure that chicks were not left alone.’
    • ‘The bird and its mate had built the nest in the bottom of the box and laid five tiny eggs.’
    • ‘Birds sing to establish territories and to attract mates.’
    • ‘It traps pheromones to alert potential mates of sexual receptivity.’
    • ‘Andean condor Homer and his mate Marge are love birds again - after vets gave him a blunter beak to save her from the sharp side of his temper.’
    • ‘Her mate appeared to counter-sing in response to the song of the female.’
    • ‘To examine this question, we looked at the age of the mates of birds that did not emigrate.’
    • ‘This animal, which has lived without a mate for her entire life at the zoo, will always be remembered as one who never fell ill and as one who never threw a tantrum.’
    1. 1.1informal A person's husband, wife, or other sexual partner.
      ‘he couldn't satisfy his frisky young mate’
      • ‘How did your potential mate treat his/her last girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife?’
      • ‘She said if we treated our husbands / mates like we treated our pet dogs, our marriages would be happier.’
      • ‘Her devoted mate of five decades was an insurance agent.’
      • ‘Her devoted mate of six decades is a retired production supervisor.’
      • ‘I mean, that's terrible to lose a life partner and a mate at any age, but certainly at a young age like that.’
      • ‘Paired with a loving mate, this sign makes a loyal and ever-interesting lover.’
      • ‘You are a passionate, compassionate, sexual lover, requiring the same qualities from your mate.’
      • ‘So, I asked my daughter, do the teachers talk of love - for mate and child - in terms of respect?’
      • ‘Focus on muscle control as you stare into your mate's eyes and mirror his moves.’
      • ‘It is always terrifying to give birth; how much more so without one's mate there to share the moment?’
      • ‘From this perspective, the problem of your missus or your mate takes on added significance.’
      • ‘Girls should have the confidence to play hard to get, to wait until they find a mate who matches their demands rather than giving in so easily.’
      • ‘Image is everything in Hollywood, and one's mate is among one's most important accessories.’
      partner, husband, wife, spouse, lover, live-in lover, amour, significant other, inamorato, inamorata, companion, helpmate, helpmeet, consort
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal One of a matched pair.
      ‘a sock without its mate’
      • ‘Have you ever wondered as to the whereabouts of the mate to those odd socks you find in the dryer or your sock drawer?’
      match, fellow, twin, companion, pair, one of a pair, other half, equivalent, counterpart
      View synonyms
  • 2in combination A fellow member or joint occupant of a specified thing.

    ‘his table-mates’
    partner, husband, wife, spouse, lover, live-in lover, amour, significant other, inamorato, inamorata, companion, helpmate, helpmeet, consort
    View synonyms
  • 3British informal A friend or companion.

    ‘my best mate Steve’
    • ‘His mates woke him with seconds to spare, and he dressed somewhat hurriedly.’
    • ‘Firemen came in looking for images of their mates who had gone into the blazing buildings.’
    • ‘We were pals, chums, mates and the bosomiest of bosom buddies.’
    • ‘The subdued lighting and stylish interior are perfect for a pre-club swally with mates or an intimate quaff with your latest flame.’
    • ‘He prepared for the head shave by growing his hair for three months - and putting up with teasing from his mates at school.’
    • ‘I do really really love going out, particularly with a mate or crowd of mates…’
    • ‘He has few mates, preferring the company of his current partner, two children from different couplings, a hound and local goats.’
    • ‘He didn't tell his mates at school about all his medical problems and he didn't mention that against all the odds, he was a sporting champion.’
    • ‘The fire glows, venison stew simmers, the hunter and his mates drink beer and yarn on into a New Zealand night.’
    • ‘I am now retired, time-rich and have a wealth of good friends and drinking mates.’
    • ‘I feel like a dunce in this company, until I get talking to some of my mates in the group who share a lot of my frustrations and aspirations, and are a holy if unruly group.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago, I had a bunch of my mates and their respective partners back at my place after we'd all been out at some do or other.’
    • ‘More and more anglers are either going solo, or going in partnership with a mate or several mates and buying their own boat.’
    • ‘A mate of mine from school is throwing a flat-warming party, which a number of people from school are going to be at.’
    • ‘It's all about meeting up with old mates, making new friends and being part of a massive crowd with one thing in common.’
    • ‘It's shaping up to be a great party, all of us together at the barbeque, mates, mates of mates and partners of mates.’
    • ‘So at the bus stop outside work at 3.30 pm, I ran into an old mate from school.’
    • ‘I'm also still in touch with a couple of mates from school.’
    • ‘On the way back we bought fresh mangoes and dragon fruit from a road side stall and my mates made friends with the owner and got double portions.’
    • ‘Anyway, my doctor friend and his golfing mates are welcome to have a cutting.’
    friend, companion, boon companion, comrade, intimate, familiar, confidant, alter ego, second self
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Used as a friendly form of address between men or boys.
      ‘‘See you then, mate.’’
      • ‘You want a slap in the face, mate?’
      • ‘He wound down his window, leant over, and said, ‘What direction you headed in, mate?’’
      • ‘That trademark murmur of his implies ‘I've seen it all before, mate, and I tell it like is.’’
      • ‘It may be just a smear to you, mate, but it's life and death to some poor wretch.’
      • ‘‘You shouldn't leave your door open, mate,’ he said as he realised I was right behind him.’
      • ‘You reach your own conclusions, mate, I don't have to spell it out.’
      • ‘I just had the perfect run, mate, it was like I was in the zone, you know, it was just all happening for me, and I just got the best run through.’
      • ‘The defendant then shouted at the injured driver, ‘There's no damage, mate, you're alright’.’
      • ‘And if I have mistranslated, remember that it's all from my memory, mate.’
      • ‘You will need to watch the thing more than once, mate.’
      • ‘Better get that down you then, mate, keep the cold at bay.’
      • ‘‘These days it's sibling revelry, mate,’ Tim jokes in his soft New Zealand accent.’
      • ‘Not on your bloody life, mate, we know what's in it.’
      • ‘None of that euphemistic glowing or perspiring here, mate.’
      • ‘I'm really sorry about this, mate, but it's for your own good, honest.’
      • ‘Well maybe you should mediate because I wouldn't want to be left alone in a room with her, mate.’
      • ‘And if you think you can shoot off emails like that without getting an enraged response, you'd better think again, mate.’
      • ‘Go on the cabbage soup diet, mate, it worked for me.’
      • ‘This one's for you, mate, and I promise never to call your wheels a ‘second division footballer's car’ again.’
      • ‘Bear in mind that you can buy without a guilty conscience - it's for charity, mate!’
      man, my friend
      View synonyms
  • 4British An assistant or deputy in certain trades.

    ‘a plumber's mate’
    • ‘She's now an aviation electrician's mate and soon will start in the shop for electricians.’
    • ‘We had no lifting training and were not provided with driver's mates to assist with the lifting involved.’
    assistant, helper, apprentice, subordinate
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 An officer on a merchant ship subordinate to the master.
      See also first mate
      • ‘It seems likely that there was a minimum crew comprising master, mate, boatswain, at least two seamen and possibly one apprentice.’
      • ‘The ship's mates would be here at any minute, and I would lose my charter to Antwerp if I was caught.’
      • ‘Therefore the defendant's fault was not a cause of the collision which occurred while the mate was in charge of the ship.’
      • ‘Perhaps the captain and his mate would like to make me an offer?’
      • ‘Some say they are old mates or boatswains watching to see that your job is done in a proper ship-shape way.’
      • ‘Johnny tried, failed, and eventually gave up on getting the captain and mate to reach peace.’
      • ‘Several of the crewmen had heard word of their new expedition, and could not help but to share it with their fellow mates.’
      • ‘The same applied to the sailing master, his mate, and the carpenter when they also arrived.’
      • ‘Two are professionally qualified skippers and mates; the others are volunteer crew.’
      • ‘This was only to be expected, and it was the mate and second mates' jobs to motivate them with threats and promises.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, he put the tanker on autopilot and he left the helm in the hands of a fatigued third mate.’
      • ‘When a sailor ‘belonged’ to a ship his main loyalty was to his ship and his mates.’

verb

  • 1no object (of animals or birds) come together for breeding; copulate.

    ‘successful males may mate with many females’
    ‘ovulation occurs only if mating has taken place’
    • ‘Many animals and birds mate for life and this seems to work quite well for them.’
    • ‘Two of the captive birds successfully mated and produced the first captive-bred condor chick the following year.’
    • ‘It was the hope of the zoo that the gorilla would mate with the female to help further the species.’
    • ‘The big test will come next spring when it is hoped that the birds will mate.’
    • ‘For simplicity, we assume that each individual only mates with one partner.’
    • ‘Music was pumping through the stereo system - some latest hip-hop thing that sounded like two cats mating on a tin roof.’
    • ‘She just stood there, staring off at some birds mating in a tree.’
    • ‘Members of the same species can mate and breed to produce fertile offspring.’
    • ‘How do foxes manage to mate with so many animals from other social groups?’
    • ‘Queenless colonies generally rear male and female sexuals which typically mate in the nest.’
    • ‘Once a bull mates with a cow, he will look for greener pastures elsewhere and will not mate with the ‘old cow’ again.’
    • ‘Crouching, with wings outstretched, the huge birds mate, then fly away together to a nearby glade.’
    • ‘The pandas only have one mating season per year, and the San Diego pair did not mate.’
    • ‘Albatross are faithful birds and only mate once a year with one regular partner.’
    • ‘Two other fly species mated and formed a hybrid, a combined form that cannot mate with its fellow hybrids.’
    • ‘Also it has been found that if a farmed fish mates with a wild fish the genetics of their spawn is modified.’
    • ‘White tigers are rare because they only occur when two tigers mate and both carry the gene for white coloring.’
    • ‘In late winter they migrate to selected shallow bays, forming congregations to pair and eventually mate.’
    • ‘In the fall, adults gather in the colonies to form pair bonds and mate.’
    • ‘Researchers have found that the female monkeys and rats mate with multiple males to purposely confuse paternity.’
    copulation, copulating, coupling, sexual intercourse, intercourse, sex, procreation
    sexually active, breeding
    breed, couple
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Bring (animals) together for breeding.
      ‘a male is mated to several females’
      • ‘In the second part of the study, we mated females to males of differing eye span and examined the effects on fecundity and fertility.’
      • ‘The mice were mated systematically to generate the different allelic combinations.’
      • ‘Following exposure, exposed and control females were mated with intact males.’
      • ‘At different intervals, rabbits were mated with males of proven fertility.’
      • ‘After selection the chosen males and females were mated at random within line.’
      • ‘He succeeded in mating a cow with the menagerie's bison, but the ensuing pregnancy came to a disastrous end.’
      • ‘Flies were mated for 4 days and eggs laid within the following 5 days were counted.’
      • ‘To examine sperm transport in the female reproductive tract, males were mated with superovulated females.’
      • ‘Treated mice were mated with untreated female T-stock mice.’
      • ‘Breeders in England and the United States have been successfully mating the rare species.’
      • ‘In a follow-up study, the researchers mated unexposed rats with offspring of treated moms.’
      • ‘After this, each female was mated individually with two males from the stem population and kept with them for 3 days.’
      • ‘Animals mated this Autumn should be 100% sound.’
      • ‘After irradiation each male was individually mated with two non-exposed females over a period of 3-4 days and then removed.’
      • ‘Owners pay about £60,000 a time to mate their mares with him.’
      • ‘Then the scientists mated mice deficient in the GIP receptor with mice that lack leptin, a hormone that signals satiety.’
      • ‘As well, there is a reluctance on the part of farmers to mate any bulls for fear they will lose their strength and condition.’
      • ‘Sex ratio of their progeny was not considered in sire selection, and the bulls were not mated to the same group of cows in consecutive years.’
      • ‘Depending upon the year, 15-40% of males are socially mated with more than one female within a given breeding season.’
      • ‘So clean animals are separated from unclean animals, and it is forbidden to sow two kinds of seed in one field, to wear clothes of two kinds of fabric, or to mate two kinds of animals.’
      couple, pair, join, bring together
      View synonyms
  • 2Connect or be connected mechanically.

    with object ‘the four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle - gradually emerging as the new industry standard for luxury cars.’
    • ‘The hydraulic drive (using a standard travel motor and brake from the excavator) is mated to a planetary gearbox.’
    • ‘The two most powerful engines are mated to a six-speed gearbox.’
    • ‘The fuselage has been removed from the assembly jig and mated to the wing.’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a tricky gearbox which gives you the option of being fully automatic, or a clutchless sequential manual.’
    • ‘The 26-inch, fluted barrel is mated to an action made without magazine cutout for maximum stiffness and accuracy.’
    • ‘On the test car, the engine was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.’
    • ‘Backplanes permit drives to be snapped in and mated to a connector blindly.’
    • ‘A stiff nylon outsole is mated to a mesh and leather upper.’
    • ‘The reborn engine is then mated to a close ratio six-speed manual transmission and the new powertrain is reunited with the body.’
    • ‘The two power sources are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that is claimed to have the efficiencies of a manual.’
    • ‘It is a 16 valve, four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo charged engine mated to a six-speed gear box.’
    • ‘And the transmission is mated to a powertrain that wallows in a vast reservoir of torque.’
    • ‘The V6 is mated to a new five-speed transmission.’
    • ‘While being basically hand-built, they were done on an assembly line, with the mechanicals being mated to the body shell around half way down the line.’
    • ‘The front end is contained within a tapered bushing that mates with a corresponding taper in the slide.’
    • ‘One of the issues is to make sure that the right bodies are mated to the correct chassis.’
    • ‘The fastest engine in the range, the latter diesel plant is now mated to a 6-speed gearbox.’
    • ‘These are mated to 6 speed manual transmissions or 5 speed auto.’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox while the rack and pinion steering features variable power assistance.’

Phrases

  • mates' rates

    • informal Discounted prices or preferential terms offered to friends by the seller of a product or service.

      ‘Rick arranged for the repair to be done at mates' rates’
      • ‘I have to make a website for a friend (mates' rates unfortunately - free).’
      • ‘I bought it off a friend at mate's rates.’
      • ‘No transparency, no accountability, mates' rates - let's take our money and run.’
      • ‘If Chelle had been a physio like she wanted to when she was a teenager, I could be getting mates' rates.’
      • ‘Joe, tell him George sent you and you'll easily get mates' rates.’
      • ‘It provided billions in aid, free military hardware, latest intelligence support and some of the best mates' rates in international politics.’
      • ‘If you're in that area, and want your carpets cleaned, give them a call and say Paddy said to give you a mates' rates price.’
      • ‘However by this time I had the trike finished and with the help of friends and the good old Australian 'mates' rates' it had cost me next to nothing in monetary terms, which pleased Lora to no end.’
      • ‘Paul is offering him some gash about his friend being a printer and giving mates' rates.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Low German māt(e) ‘comrade’, of West Germanic origin; related to meat (the underlying concept being that of eating together).

Pronunciation

mate

/meɪt/

Main definitions of mate in English

: maté1mate2mate3

mate3

noun & verb

Chess
  • short for checkmate
    • ‘This book starts with mates in one and, around page one million, moves on to mate in twos.’
    • ‘He wasn't paying attention since he saw that a forced mate resulted from the line he actually played.’
    • ‘Can you find the mate in two for White in today's diagram?’
    • ‘He carelessly walked into a mate in five, which he thought was simply drawing.’
    • ‘For example, the chapter on endgame technique focuses on mating with bishop and knight and the rook and pawn versus rook endgame.’

Phrases

  • fool's mate

    • A game in which White is mated by Black's queen on the second move.

  • scholar's mate

    • A game in which White mates Black on the fourth move with the queen, supported by the king's bishop.

Origin

Middle English: the noun from Anglo-Norman French mat (from the phrase eschec mat ‘checkmate’); the verb from Anglo-Norman French mater ‘to checkmate’.

Pronunciation

mate

/meɪt/