One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Christian service of morning prayer, especially in the Anglican Church.
religious worship, worship, religious observanceView synonyms
- ‘Shrouded by early morning mists, cloaked in oak and beech woods that echo with the sound of matin bells and Gregorian chant, these venerable ruins bring the most distant history to life.’
- ‘Morning prayer, known as matins, and evening prayer, known as vespers or evensong, are most common.’
- ‘Two of the pieces we will chant are pulieli which are sung within the matins, with each verse followed by Alleluia.’
- ‘Most importantly they had to pray seven times a day from the matins in the early morning to the vespers in the evening.’
- ‘It was a Sunday and from modern village far below, the silence was broken by a single male, bass voice chanting: the village priest at his matins.’
- 1.1 A service forming part of the traditional Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, originally said (or chanted) at or after midnight.
- 1.2literary The morning song of birds.
Middle English: from Old French matines, plural (influenced by Church Latin matutinae ‘morning prayers’) of matin ‘morning’, from Latin matutinum, neuter of matutinus ‘early in the morning’, from Matuta, the name of the dawn goddess.
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