Definition of matron in US English:



  • 1British A woman in charge of domestic and medical arrangements at a boarding school or other establishment.

    • ‘The matron of the private home wrote to a local public representative to highlight the old woman's plight after she had accumulated debts of 6000 in overdue payments.’
    • ‘Although attending a fee-paying school, she lives with her mother, the matron of the YWCA hostel they live in.’
    • ‘While girls picked fights with other inmates they often saved their fury for the matrons and nuns who oversaw them.’
    • ‘The matron addressed those who worked so hard for the good cause and she said by way of thank you she treated the committee and staff to a fine meal and all had a very pleasant evening.’
    • ‘At 65 years of age, having only ever taken three days off work due to sickness, the matron has a lot to be thankful for and is certainly well deserving of a rest.’
    • ‘Yet she came to enjoy the harsh regime at King's, and grew to respect and admire the teachers and matron who were often her tormentors for four weeks.’
    • ‘She was the oldest girl, being 17, and the matron had taught her everything she knew.’
    • ‘We took our seats and a little while later one of the two matrons who staff the place came over with a tray laden with the main courses.’
    • ‘The boarding school matron as sex symbol is alive and well.’
    • ‘Inside resided the matron, her two patrons, two daughters, and two sons.’
    • ‘The matron of the nursing home, Sister Theonilla, is also in the picture.’
    • ‘It had been arranged that they would stop off at a pub to meet other residents - one who had been travelling in the matron's car and others in a minibus.’
    • ‘In 1944 I was offered a position as matron of St Saviour's Orphanage.’
    • ‘He then acquired a harmonica of his own and drove the matron crazy.’
    1. 1.1US A female prison officer.
      • ‘In 1843 the gaol had a governor, two turnkeys and two guards but no matron for female prisoners until 1850 when the second stage of the gaol was completed.’
      • ‘The prison guards were all male, and there were no matrons for the female prisoners.’
      • ‘Society, in the form of the prison matrons, punishes Billie for daring to transgress its most covert laws and moral structures concerning women, especially black women.’
      • ‘Yet if she marries two of the men for life, she will become the matron of a state prison.’
      • ‘The next cut shows us Susan, in prison for attempting to skip her cab fare, taking a light from the prison matron and blowing the smoke defiantly straight back into her face.’
      lady, girl, member of the fair sex, member of the gentle sex, female
      View synonyms
  • 2A married woman, especially a dignified and sober middle-aged one.

    • ‘With no divorce laws, the church authorities were used to such complaints - and regularly employed a jury of matrons or ‘honest women’ to substantiate the claims.’
    • ‘Later, she is presented as a rather dowdy vestal virgin or as an elegant but staid matron demurely working on her embroidery.’
    • ‘Police were called in to control the thousands of Chinese-Americans eager to simply tour the home of the legendary matron who played such a pivotal role in almost a century of Chinese history.’
    • ‘The next morning, the proprietress of the B & B, waggling an admonishing finger as only middle-aged Welsh matrons can, suggested that we should find alternate lodging.’
    • ‘Created spontaneously by the matrons who had considerable scholarship in theological matters, these songs were preserved in manuscript.’
    • ‘As his wife, she does one of her practiced turns as a deviously maniacal suburban matron.’
    • ‘She died in America in 1773, a respectable matron aged thirty-eight.’
    • ‘And we're not the first to do this - Roman or Victorian matrons quite happily dabbled in things such as Ouija boards or patronised spiritualists who promised a glimpse into the unknown or a taste of the illicit.’
    • ‘Her voice is squeaky and wobbly, the voice of a dithering matron, not a singer; her timing is distracted and irregular.’
    • ‘Near the end, there is a sudden reversal of our ideas about the matron and her husband, but it is both maudlin and unconvincing.’
    • ‘In its day, her shops attracted royalty, president's wives, society matrons, and thousands of others all over the world.’
    • ‘If only, people sigh, we still had matrons, ruling the roost with rods of iron (and ensuring that brooms and scrubbing brushes were used regularly and effectively).’
    • ‘I think of them then as public-spirited matrons, aunts indeed to all the little larvae that must be fed.’
    • ‘It can be hard to spot the youth of the town these days, outnumbered as they are by steel-haired matrons and ‘trendy’ mums ordering cappuccinos, and at first I wondered what was wrong.’
    • ‘And to top off the day no house is complete without the matron cooking some kinda fish.’
    • ‘Her head was always filled with silly dreams of becoming a wealthy and respected matron, playing bridge with the Astors and acquiring Baroque art.’
    • ‘It makes me a little sad, the thought that the world may lose those girlish matrons emanating lavender and lemon verbena clouds, those out of touch aunts with their funny ways and gentle, kindly hearts.’
    • ‘Grey-haired matrons, in their favorite skirts and lucky boots, spin and move with knobby-kneed, pot-bellied men.’
    • ‘Now I know what those matrons on tour buses to Vegas were getting so excited about.’
    • ‘Why, one might ask, are the matrons of this little village procuring the potions of a black-clad spinster to poison their lumpen, ruddy old husbands?’


Late Middle English (in matron (sense 2)): from Old French matrone, from Latin matrona, from mater, matr- ‘mother’.