Main definitions of matte in English

: matte1matte2matte3

matte1

(also mat, matt)

adjective

  • (of a color, paint, or surface) dull and flat, without a shine.

    ‘matte black’
    dull, lacklustre, matt, flat, unburnished, unpolished, tarnished, dingy, dim, dark, drab
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A matte color, paint, or finish.

    ‘the varnishes are available in gloss, satin, and matte’
  • 2A sheet of cardboard placed on the back of a picture, either as a mount or to form a border around the picture.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Give a matte appearance to (something)

Origin

Early 17th century (as a verb): from French mat.

Pronunciation

matte

/mæt//mat/

Main definitions of matte in English

: matte1matte2matte3

matte2

noun

  • An impure product of the smelting of sulfide ores, especially those of copper or nickel.

    • ‘It is thought that further mineral wealth awaits discovery; other exports are copper-nickel matte and beef.’
    • ‘This will be designed to separate the matte / slag product transferred from the furnace.’
    • ‘Botswana exports are dominated by diamonds, copper/nickel matte, beef and animal products; also exported are textiles and soda ash.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French (in Old French meaning ‘curds’), feminine of mat (adjective) ‘matt’, used as a noun.

Pronunciation

matte

/mat//mæt/

Main definitions of matte in English

: matte1matte2matte3

matte3

noun

  • A mask used to obscure part of an image in a film and allow another image to be substituted, combining the two.

    • ‘There are lots of shots that look fuzzy or soft because of the use of mattes, and overall the serpent looks like he was sculpted out of Play-Doh.’
    • ‘Virtually inventing methods of composite mattes in film made the invisible man truly come alive and real.’
    • ‘There were a lot, and I mean a lot of space scenes where you could actually see the mattes around the ships, sun and earth.’
    • ‘Some of the background mattes appear grainier than the rest of the picture, and sometimes the special effects look a little hokey, but I won't hold those things against the DVD itself.’
    • ‘A couple of rough mattes here and there take the sheen off, but overall, everything looks good technically.’
    • ‘For this we use alpha mattes, or masks, which allow us to work on certain portions of the building independent of the rest of the rendering.’
    • ‘Traveling matte was again used to place people on top of the vessel and on the bridge connecting it to land.’
    • ‘However, the special effects scenes were done with the mattes and you will lose information from the sides during those shots.’
    • ‘He mentions it precisely once, as one of several films using matte shots.’
    • ‘Because of limited special effects technology at that time, you can easily tell that these are two mattes put together (with outlines around the ship showing like a beacon in the night).’
    photomask, shadow mask, masking, masking tape
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French, perhaps from mat (see matt).

Pronunciation

matte

/mat//mæt/