One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Denoting, relating to, or characteristic of a staid or conservatively dressed older married woman, especially one with a somewhat heavy build.‘she looked matronly in a putty-coloured tweed two-piece’‘Mum was never going to be a blue-rinse matronly figure’‘a matronly floral dress that covered her from neck to ankle’
- ‘The older nurse clucked in a matronly manner and the two nurses, together, hurried the girl into the back room to find a doctor.’
- ‘Nevertheless, her plain delivery stripped of vocal runs, trills and decorations can make her long baroque arias sound staid and matronly.’
- ‘More matronly sorts opt instead for ye olde-style tea shoppes and here you can eavesdrop over a discreet pot of Darjeeling.’
- ‘‘You'll get used to it,’ says Brenda, adopting a matronly tone.’
- ‘The by-now matronly personnel manager and a flock of remarkable young employees stand around offering toasts on the happy occasion.’
- ‘Yes, I sort of thought they wanted a more matronly sound.’
- ‘And get it tailored next time so it actually sort of fits and doesn't make you look matronly.’
- ‘When I was a kid, there were two matronly old women who lived down our otherwise quiet cul-de-sac.’
- ‘I was beginning to feel rather matronly, and now I'm back to the weight I've always been.’
- ‘I had barely started when the two matronly American ladies we'd seen in the tea shop, still in their kagouls, walked past me.’
- ‘Putting on my most matronly look, I refuse this unappetising offer.’
- ‘The music starts, and six identical doors swing open on the set to reveal six matronly dancers in zebra-print gowns and big hair.’
- ‘I thought of them, cool and rich from many punnets picked and rated highly by the matronly overseer, laughing and drinking in some city bar.’
- ‘Those with sleeves that stop just short of the elbow can make a classier alternative to sleeveless or short-sleeved ones, both of which risk looking matronly on older women.’
- ‘Many deemed it too figure-hugging and too young, emphasising what looked suspiciously like a matronly figure, but it demonstrated nonetheless that this was a woman not afraid to experiment with her look.’
- ‘Does she feel matronly toward her flock of thespians?’
- ‘‘I find it quite comforting to be matronly,’ she says.’
- ‘Old men decked in brocaded black robes talked in huddles, their matronly wives - veterans of grand weddings past - glittering gold and exuding scent.’
- ‘Judging from the reaction of the Empress, our next-door neighbor, she also did a fair number on the matronly blue-haired crowd as well.’
- ‘This was a matronly prison guard reading messages from the artist.’
Mid 17th century: from matron (sense 2).
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