Definition of matt in English:


(US mat) (also matte)


  • (of a surface or colour) dull and flat; without a shine.

    ‘prints are available on matt or glossy paper’
    ‘a matt black’
    • ‘It is rapidly absorbed by the skin, leaving a light, matt film on the surface which keeps the skin looking, and feeling, soft and hydrated.’
    • ‘You can paint them a dull matt grey to blend in against the sky, but they will stand out.’
    • ‘The turbine blades for the West End project would be made of wood epoxy and painted matt black, the polypropylene turbine head would also be painted black and the galvanised steel tower would be dull grey.’
    • ‘Surface quality of the mat side at the final gauge was the most important parameter to be controlled.’
    • ‘Grunting, I twisted my head and spied a few fallen fragments of scale, each one a dull matt black.’
    • ‘The metal carried a slight, bluish matt tint and was utterly smooth.’
    • ‘Its matt surface could be further polished and worked.’
    • ‘Each piece is clean and simple, with an undecorated matte surface.’
    • ‘The matt colours sustain the idea of a quiet experience and the abstract form of painting allows for a personal interpretation.’
    • ‘The walls should be finished in medium dark shades with a matt surface.’
    • ‘The system is available in 19 matt lacquer colours as well as in bleached or dark oak and with a choice of six different glass doors.’
    • ‘It's pretty impressive stuff; on the side of Manchester's old ship canal, a huge shard of silver seems to have fallen from the skies and impaled itself into a mass of matt black.’
    • ‘It's easy enough to print out photographs on A4 size paper, of course, and I have achieved very good results using both glossy and matt photographic quality paper.’
    • ‘The play between glossy and matt surfaces lends a subtle complexity to a simple restaurant fitout.’
    • ‘The paintings consist of flat planes of Matthews' matte beige, and other parts which allude again to landscape without depicting it.’
    • ‘The keys are big enough, and of themselves perfectly visible, black on matt silver.’
    • ‘I bought two pairs of the exact same shoe but in different colours: a weird quilted-look silver and matte black.’
    • ‘In the spring and summer, use containers in soft blues; in autumn and winter, a few pots in matt black planted with tiny, scented cyclamen are also charming and easy.’
    • ‘Presentation is austere: the hardback, which is matt black with silvered lettering, has no dust jacket, no tables, and no illustrations.’
    • ‘The large portraits of farm workers are shot against a white background and printed on a matte surface.’
    dull, lacklustre, flat, unburnished, unpolished, tarnished, dingy, dim, dark, drab
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  • 1mass noun A matt paint or finish.

    ‘the varnishes are available in gloss, satin, and matt’
    • ‘The shutters, window seats and surround are a very dark varnish and maybe should have been matt to give a softer finish.’
    • ‘The rod is tied in dark red thread over the cane coloured blank, and the overall finish is matt.’
    netting, net, network, tracery, reticulation
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  • 2A sheet of cardboard placed on the back of a picture, either as a mount or to form a border.

    ‘try mounting prints against a deep matt or ground of the same background colour’
    • ‘Photo frames are also about style, so this device offers a goldtone frame, a black mat, and an antiglare acrylic cover.’
    • ‘Using all this as a template, we then cut the top mat and mounted the tickets to it.’
    • ‘The photographs were printed on 8 x 10 sheets, sepia-toned, and presented with ivory-toned mattes and walnut-stained mahogany frames.’


[with object]
  • Give a matt appearance to (something)

    ‘its bright fresh surface was soon matted with dust and insects’
    • ‘The image is matted with a 16 mm-style frame, just as it was presented in the theatres.’
    • ‘Have a friend photograph them with a decent camera in nice light, and then print them out in a postcard-sized print and matt them so they look really nice.’
    • ‘Why not consult him and simply matte the image to recreate the 1.85: 1 aspect ratio?’
    • ‘The footage all has a drab, flat feel and the 1.33: 1 full frame image is badly matted.’
    • ‘Afterwards, it was matted down with an industrial scrubber and made to look like marble.’
    • ‘Other teachers may prefer to matte the prints for wall display and place photocopies of the notes beside them for students to read.’
    untidy, messy, scruffy, disordered, dishevelled, disarranged, rumpled, windblown, ungroomed, bedraggled, in a mess, messed up, shabby, slovenly, shaggy
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Early 17th century (as a verb): from French mat.