Definition of matrix in US English:

matrix

noun

  • 1An environment or material in which something develops; a surrounding medium or structure.

    ‘free choices become the matrix of human life’
    • ‘Having your work become part of the larger cultural matrix - beyond the industry it's in - makes it much easier to sell within the industry.’
    • ‘Here was a man months away from dying, who had moved beyond the lifelong matrices of mere politics.’
    • ‘The impact of such a policy was the internalization of a universal outlook and the location of the indigenous in the wider matrix of human history.’
    • ‘Instead, we prefer cheerleaders who fall within our own political/religious/social matrix.’
    • ‘Hence the body was thought of as the human matrix and as an indicator of mental and physical illnesses.’
    • ‘The group currently meets twice each year and has developed a matrix of problem areas and topics for open discussion.’
    • ‘What they do not do is erase the larger cultural matrix and power relations that propel women to undertake certain kinds of body transformations instead of others.’
    • ‘Language, as we have seen, is the matrix of social coordination.’
    • ‘Ideally, according to the artist, such paintings can assist in establishing a new cultural matrix.’
    • ‘In his individuated free-floating imagery that defines his iconography, he is rooted in the social and cultural matrix.’
    • ‘Its art is placed in a matrix of transnational contacts, crosscutting social categories, and political ideologies.’
    • ‘These might vary from region to region, but they formed a cultural matrix that distinguished Italians from others.’
    • ‘Specific accumulation regimes and modes of regulation are typically constructed in specific social spaces and spatio-temporal matrices.’
    • ‘Cultural matrices and their operating rules are often incommensurate across localities.’
    • ‘Future agricultural research and development needs to be cast in a social matrix.’
    • ‘Culture also depends on a social matrix of belief, art, law, morals and customs.’
    • ‘Yet, by showing how their concerns relate to the larger culture, by mapping their place in the social matrix, Brown is able to tell a telling story.’
    • ‘I refuse to accept any suggestion that we are impotent because of some peculiar accident of history or because of some flaw in our cultural matrix from which we are yet to escape.’
    • ‘The political matrix will change only if those concerned with enhancing privacy make such protections a major part of their agenda.’
    • ‘But he believed that free market reforms occur within a matrix of cultural values and social capital.’
  • 2A mass of fine-grained rock in which gems, crystals, or fossils are embedded.

    • ‘Except for a few small bone fragments, no fossils have been observed within the clasts or in the matrix.’
    • ‘Both the matrix and crystals are generally rather highly fractured, making it difficult to collect good unbroken specimens.’
    • ‘In one specimen stephanite was intimately associated with pyrite in a matrix of tabular calcite crystals, all on quartz.’
    • ‘Crystals free from the matrix are virtually nonexistent.’
    • ‘Protruding from the frozen earth, like dinosaur fossils in a matrix of rock, was a row of brown vertebrae, ancient and massive.’
    • ‘Rhombs of ferroan dolomite occur both in the fringe around the fossils and within the matrix of the concretion.’
    • ‘The metaconglomerates comprise monocrystalline or polycrystalline angular or subrounded clasts of quartz embedded in an arenaceous matrix.’
    • ‘One consisted of specimens with cubic crystals on matrix purportedly from Siberia.’
    • ‘The surrounding matrix of the fossil, which creates a natural mold, should also be thoroughly examined.’
    • ‘These blocks are enclosed in a matrix of sheared, serpentinized ultramafic rocks and thus the entire sequence constitutes another melange.’
    • ‘The larger dolomite crystals fill voids in the fine-grained dolomite matrix.’
    • ‘Limited dolomitization of the calcite around the edges of the fossils and in the matrix of the concretion occurred at a later stage.’
    • ‘The fine-grained matrix consists mainly of quartz and feldspar.’
    • ‘To his surprise, fossils within the matrix were also silicified.’
    • ‘Locally, intense brecciation gave rise to angular vein quartz fragments enveloped by a matrix of massive hematitic rock.’
    • ‘The fine-grained matrix consists chiefly of gypsum, although traces of anhydrite may be present.’
    • ‘It is also the source of many baby-pink rhodochrosite crystal groups without much matrix.’
    • ‘Two images can be captured, one where the matrix is in focus, the other where the crystals are in focus.’
    • ‘Most of the crystals were standing on the quartz matrix, but a number were lying flat and were doubly terminated.’
    • ‘We tipped the matrix of quartz on microcline and cleavelandite to remove the crystal, no easy job in the confined space of the pocket.’
    1. 2.1Biology The substance between cells or in which structures are embedded.
      • ‘The integrity of the endothelial cell layer is also controlled by the tethering of the cells to the extracellular matrix through integrins.’
      • ‘It also is a coating substance for cells in the matrix.’
      • ‘The capillary grows by degradation of the extracellular matrix and proliferation of cells at the tip of the sprout.’
      • ‘Any cell biologist will tell you that the matrix a cell grows in is one of the fundamental variables of cell culture.’
      • ‘Integrins are an ancient group of animal adhesion receptors that attach cells to the extracellular matrix.’
    2. 2.2 Fine material.
      ‘the matrix of gravel paths is raked regularly’
      • ‘Magnetic resonance has been widely used in the investigation of nanomagnetic particles immersed in nonmagnetic matrices.’
      • ‘In cross-section, the deposits consist of unsorted pebbles, cobbles, and boulders in a matrix of fine-grained debris.’
      • ‘The sediment matrix of the specimen consists of crudely bedded very fine sandstone with Ophiomorpha burrows.’
      • ‘The outer layer consisted of a loosely bound matrix of fibrous, textured material.’
      • ‘Interstices are filled with poorly sorted pebble-sized clasts and the matrix content is rather low.’
  • 3A mold in which something, such as printing type or a phonograph record, is cast or shaped.

    • ‘These were then used to shape the matrixes from which the records were pressed.’
    • ‘The matrix is inserted at its base, the mould is adjusted to the desired width, molten lead is poured in to form a column, and the character is cast in the matrix at the bottom.’
    mould, die, form, shape, casting, template, pattern, frame
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  • 4Mathematics
    A rectangular array of quantities or expressions in rows and columns that is treated as a single entity and manipulated according to particular rules.

    • ‘For this simple example, this means we can get to any of the six permutation matrices in a single swap.’
    • ‘He discovered the rule for multiplying matrices in 1812 and it is almost certainly for this that he will be remembered rather than his other work.’
    • ‘Equivalently, physicists can represent a given quantum system by a matrix - a square array of whole numbers.’
    • ‘However he also worked on differential equations, matrices and other topics in algebra, continued fractions, geometry and number theory.’
    • ‘Of particular importance is his appreciation of the value of elementary hermitian matrices in numerical analysis.’
    network, reticulation, reticulum
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  • 5An organizational structure in which two or more lines of command, responsibility, or communication may run through the same individual.

    • ‘We're a matrix organization: Everybody has to know what everybody else is doing.’
    • ‘I'd want to be very sure of myself before I decided that a matrix reporting structure was the best possible answer to our intelligence woes.’
    • ‘Recently, matrix structures have been adopted and abandoned, and conglomerates have been built and disassembled.’
    • ‘Because of its lateral structure, the matrix management style is ideally suited for product development of medical devices.’
    • ‘It was structured as a matrix, with various corporate functions on one side and various product groups on the other.’
    • ‘Many people find it difficult to work in matrix structures where they have to be accountable to more than one manager and yearn for a clear chain of command.’
    • ‘A favourite candidate is the so-called matrix structure.’
    • ‘But the matrix structure of this reorganization was significant as a precedent for the type of changes that are likely to work next.’
    • ‘So they engineered a matrix structure that breaks down managerial responsibility both by region and product.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘womb’): from Latin, ‘breeding female’, later ‘womb’, from mater, matr- ‘mother’.

Pronunciation

matrix

/ˈmeɪtrɪks//ˈmātriks/