Main definitions of matte in US 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 US English:

: matte1matte2matte3

matte2

noun

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

    • ‘This will be designed to separate the matte / slag product transferred from the furnace.’
    • ‘It is thought that further mineral wealth awaits discovery; other exports are copper-nickel matte and beef.’
    • ‘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

/mæt//mat/

Main definitions of matte in US 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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He mentions it precisely once, as one of several films using matte shots.’
    • ‘A couple of rough mattes here and there take the sheen off, but overall, everything looks good technically.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    photomask, shadow mask, masking, masking tape
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

matte

/mæt//mat/