Main definitions of mat in US English:

: mat1mat2mat3

mat1

noun

  • 1A piece of coarse material placed on a floor for people to wipe their feet on.

    • ‘She was looking at the rubber mat under her feet of the passenger's side seat.’
    • ‘As he came in stamping his muddy feet on the porch mat, she paused in the kitchen to listen.’
    • ‘She wiped her feet on the welcome mat and stepped into the house.’
    • ‘When he walks into the blackness of the entryway, he turns and wipes his feet onto the floor mat before pulling his shoes off.’
    • ‘I went in, ignoring him, and stopped on the welcome mat where people might wipe their shoes.’
    • ‘Walking through the doorway Kim carefully wiped her feet on the small mat at the door.’
    rug, runner, carpet, drugget
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A small rug.
      • ‘‘The children lay on a mat on the floor and not on a bed,’ she explained.’
      • ‘There is a mat on the floor, a hammock, and a few boxes and plastic bags filled with clothes.’
      • ‘She wears a yellow shirt and a blue-and-green sarong, and sits with me on a woven mat on the dirt floor of an empty room.’
      • ‘She's rewarded with meals of vegetables and rice, and sleeps on a mat on the floor in the back of a flower shop.’
      • ‘People who are going to take part are asked to bring a mat or rug.’
      • ‘In traditional homes, floor seating is still very much alive and floor mats make easy cleaning and maintenance.’
      • ‘Apart from the larger engine and the automation of the gearchange, extra standard equipment is confined to items such as floor mats and seat back pockets.’
      • ‘Contemporary coverings like mats and rugs can change the whole appearance of our homes.’
      • ‘The floor mats have also accumulated their share of dirt and crumbs, the paint job and hubcaps have a few minor road dings, and the dashboard is dusty.’
      • ‘She said that she was sleeping on a mat on the floor of her hut - as usual - and the rat crept up and bit her finger.’
      • ‘To allow the practitioner to use his or her body weight, the patient usually lies on mats on the floor during treatment.’
      • ‘The abbot indicated that I should sit on a straw mat at his feet.’
      • ‘As you can see behind me, they have people actually sleeping on mats on the floor because they've just had to continue to allow people in.’
      • ‘On the more popular routes old carpets and rubber mats eased the ankle-snapping trudge from one ice sheet to the next.’
      • ‘Books, a floor mat, a CD player and a few odd bits of furniture complete the very functional interior of her home.’
      • ‘Some may insist you sleep on mats on hard floors to straighten out the spine, but they are in a minority.’
      • ‘Up at 4am for the first of five prayers a day, they sleep on thin mats on the floor in unheated dormitories.’
      • ‘In Japan, every home is floored with elegant rice mats, called tatami.’
      • ‘When the job is finished, you should not place items such as mats on the floor for several weeks, as they will cause discolouration.’
      • ‘Fifteen inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a CD player and dedicated carpet mats are included.’
      rug, runner, carpet, drugget
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A piece of thick or resilient material for lying on or for landing on in gymnastics, wrestling, or similar sports.
      • ‘We get floor mats out at this stage and do approximately 40-50 press-ups.’
      • ‘I found a few large gymnast mats leaning up against the white brick wall by a storage closet.’
      • ‘Then I walked downstairs to the basement and did some gymnastics on my mats.’
      • ‘Wrestling mats are not cheap and it can cost a small fortune to equip your wrestling room.’
      • ‘I remember afternoons in first grade when the entire class was forced to take thirty-minute naps on blue gymnastic mats.’
      • ‘As her feet hit the mat, a score of 9.95 flashed across the board.’
      • ‘In her mind, she was just back on the practice mats in the enormous gymnasium.’
      • ‘It is a well-known fact that I wouldn't even last five minutes on the gymnastics mat.’
      • ‘He left everything he had on the wrestling mat and football field each and every time he competed.’
      • ‘My opponent was running around the wrestling mat waving his arms in a celebratory gesture as he assumed the match was his.’
      • ‘It also has an Olympic-size swimming pool and indoor gyms with wrestling and judo mats, fencing strips and a boxing ring.’
      • ‘Vaulting into mats stacked in the pit, the French gymnasts attempted several difficult vaults.’
      • ‘In one corner of the huge basement was a tall fenced off area that held the gymnastics mats in the small space beyond.’
      • ‘Lie on the floor with your lower back pressed into the mat, feet on the ball, arms at your sides and neck in neutral alignment.’
      • ‘Then there's the beam that's four inches wide and three feet off the mat.’
      • ‘He sprawled across the landing mat and ended up on his backside.’
      • ‘If you have made your opponent unstable, the force that can rotate him about his feet to the mat is the gravitational pull on him.’
      • ‘The students are getting their shoes and skirts on before sitting on mats placed onto the floor and beginning their warm-ups and stretches.’
      • ‘She returns to the gymnastics mat, growing with every tumble into an Olympic champion.’
      • ‘Well, we're standing in the middle of a wrestling mat, so you know what's going to happen.’
    3. 1.3 A piece of coarse material for lying on.
      ‘a beach mat’
  • 2A small piece of cork, card, or fabric placed on a table or other surface to protect it from the heat or moisture of an object placed on it.

    • ‘The cards and board mats are homemade, but laminated nicely and are quite sturdy.’
    • ‘I looked at the living room we were sitting in, noticing that the main color was red and beige and even the eating table had red mats on it.’
    • ‘In four years, there was just the one breakthrough: the cork mat.’
    • ‘He is clearing the cards, the chips, the checkered mat off the table, putting them neatly into a briefcase.’
    • ‘The mat on the change table was yellow, the blanket in the crib was green and yellow, and the cushion on the rocking chair was yellow.’
    • ‘Games were played across plastic mats resting on cafeteria tables.’
    • ‘Hot grease can burn through the sealant layer on stone, so a mat around your cooker is a good idea.’
    • ‘Finally, the committee said that food vendors should place a rubber mat under their booths to protect the area from oil and cooking grease.’
    • ‘Place the fabric on the cutting mat, refolding it to align the cut bias edges.’
    table mat, place mat
    View synonyms
  • 3A thick, untidy layer of something hairy or woolly.

    ‘his chest was covered by a thick mat of soft fair hair’
    • ‘Forming in brackish seawater, layer after layer of mats have left behind clusters of small, sedimentary columns.’
    • ‘These thick mats of seaweed create underwater jungles that are home to fish, urchins, and other marine life.’
    • ‘The felt is produced by processing a mat of fibers with moisture, heat, and pressure.’
    • ‘It was placed atop of what looked like a collection of abandoned old clothes in the back of the truck, except for the hands or feet or the mats of hair protruding here and there.’
    • ‘Over the summers the plateau had formed a thick mat of dead grass.’
    • ‘Atop his head was a thick mat of dark red hair that bordered on maroon.’
    • ‘They both had thick mats of curly blonde hair that had a tendency to get thick with dust and dirt, and they were both husky and cleverly ugly.’
    • ‘I will need some moisture mats - thick layers of hemp fibre matting which sit on top of the waste.’
    • ‘After the clear-cutting, the north slope germinated a thick mat of young Douglas fir and larch.’
    • ‘It spreads rapidly and can form dense mats of vegetation in still or sluggishly flowing waters; in fact it is a menace to the health of the rivers, canals, and lakes which it invades.’
    • ‘Herbivores are quite important for the reef as they keep thick mats of filamentous and leafy algae from smothering the corals.’
    • ‘In the low-oxygen conditions there, thick mats of sulfate-reducing bacteria grew on the carbonate rocks.’
    mass, tangle, knot, mop, thatch, shock, mane, cluster, mesh
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Tangle (something, especially hair) in a thick mass.

    ‘the fur on its flank was matted with blood’
    ‘sweat matted his hair’
    • ‘His hair was matted with sweat and he had a pained expression on his face.’
    • ‘Her hair was all matted down and tangled, and I couldn't start to imagine her taking less than an hour to fix it.’
    • ‘His black hair was matted down against his tan face, and his brown eyes were red in their whites.’
    • ‘By now, the sun is up and angrily drying up your sweat, matting your hair and hardening your uniform.’
    • ‘His hair was matted down with white paint, mostly contained within the ponytail he had put his hair into before they started working.’
    • ‘Her sandy hair was matted and tangled, but her eyes shone with crystal clear radiance.’
    • ‘He was asleep, but he was resting fitfully - his black hair was matted against his head, and his breath came out in rasping sighs.’
    • ‘An enormous hide of tangled and matted hair appeared directly outside his window.’
    • ‘Her head thrashed against the ground, her blood matting her hair and mingling with the dirt and blades of grass.’
    • ‘Her skin felt cooler to my touch, but sweat matted her hair, and a salty-sour scent overlaid her sweeter one.’
    • ‘They wore dark, heavy cloaks and most of them had black matted hair.’
    • ‘His hair was matted down completely from the helmet he had been wearing, and with a grunt he pulled free of the jacket he had been wearing.’
    • ‘Sweat soaked through her clothes and matted her short red hair.’
    • ‘His black hair was matted with grime and clung to his scalp in ungainly tufts.’
    • ‘Sweat matted his dark hair to his forehead and he swatted at it when it fell into his face but to no avail.’
    • ‘His short, lavender hair was matted down from sweat and being constantly covered.’
    • ‘Her hair was completely matted to her face in perspiration.’
    • ‘I ran a hand through my tangled, matted black hair self-consciously.’
    • ‘His shimmering blonde hair was matted with blood, originating from a point in the back of his head.’
    • ‘His stringy black hair was matted against his forehead, most likely due to the intense heat and the fact that he had been working all day.’
    tangle, entangle, knot, ravel, snarl up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Become tangled.
      ‘dog hair mats more quickly than human hair’
      • ‘You forsook even your comb - the siren's tool; your hair would have matted about you, a living cloak and shield.’
      • ‘This step can prevent your hair from thinning, matting or breaking.’
      • ‘Daily brushing is almost mandatory to keep the hair from matting up.’
      • ‘At night, protect your hair with a satin scarf, bonnet or pillowcase, which prevents split ends, tangling and matting, and preserves your hair style.’
      • ‘Thin or fine tressed folks may also benefit from a daily sudsing to help prevent hair from flattening or matting.’

Phrases

  • go to the mat

    • informal Vigorously engage in an argument, especially on behalf of another.

      ‘we will go to the mat for those who are willing to help us out’
      • ‘That's why most of my posts focus on foreign policy and why I'm willing to go to the mat (no pun intended) to defend my views on the subject.’
      • ‘What he is saying is that the voters of no state should be allowed to act on a different view - and that he will go to the mat to block the confirmation of judges who would allow them a say.’
      • ‘Too many people are afraid to call themselves philosophical as opposed to political, as if that predisposed some cowardice, that you're unwilling to go to the mat for your beliefs.’
      • ‘She is not going to the mat for some helpless whistleblower.’
      • ‘To the applause of numerous commentators, he went to the mat repeatedly on behalf of economic elites - eager for such measures as pro-business trade pacts, bailouts overseas and harsh ‘welfare reform’ at home.’
      • ‘And he says he's going to the mat against political pawns and media jackals.’
      • ‘They really want to make them, and they'll go to the mat to make sure they get made.’
      • ‘For example, unions would surely go to the mat for repeal of laws sanctioning employers for hiring undocumented workers, and are likely to oppose any kind of temporary guest worker program.’
      • ‘One has to ask why an impoverished, rural, northern California county would be willing to go to the mat on this issue and spend potentially millions of dollars in legal fees.’
      • ‘My boss went to the mat for me on it, but it was clearly a done deal.’
  • on the mat

    • informal Being reprimanded by someone in authority.

      • ‘He is unfit for the office he holds and should be called on the mat before Congress for this outrage.’
      • ‘When you start looking for one you may find yourself, and not the bloke, on the mat.’

Origin

Old English m(e)att(e), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch mat and German Matte, from late Latin matta, from Phoenician.

Pronunciation

mat

/mat//mæt/

Main definitions of mat in US English:

: mat1mat2mat3

mat2

noun

Pronunciation

mat

/mat//mæt/

Main definitions of mat in US English:

: mat1mat2mat3

mat3

verb, adjective, & noun

  • variant spelling of "matt"

Pronunciation

mat

/mæt//mat/