Main definitions of matte in English

: matte1matte2matte3

matte1

(also matt, mat)

adjective

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

    ‘matte black’
    • ‘Presentation is austere: the hardback, which is matt black with silvered lettering, has no dust jacket, no tables, and no illustrations.’
    • ‘It is rapidly absorbed by the skin, leaving a light, matt film on the surface which keeps the skin looking, and feeling, soft and hydrated.’
    • ‘The system is available in 19 matt lacquer colours as well as in bleached or dark oak and with a choice of six different glass doors.’
    • ‘The walls should be finished in medium dark shades with a matt surface.’
    • ‘The turbine blades for the West End project would be made of wood epoxy and painted matt black, the polypropylene turbine head would also be painted black and the galvanised steel tower would be dull grey.’
    • ‘It's pretty impressive stuff; on the side of Manchester's old ship canal, a huge shard of silver seems to have fallen from the skies and impaled itself into a mass of matt black.’
    • ‘The paintings consist of flat planes of Matthews' matte beige, and other parts which allude again to landscape without depicting it.’
    • ‘Each piece is clean and simple, with an undecorated matte surface.’
    • ‘The metal carried a slight, bluish matt tint and was utterly smooth.’
    • ‘I bought two pairs of the exact same shoe but in different colours: a weird quilted-look silver and matte black.’
    • ‘It's easy enough to print out photographs on A4 size paper, of course, and I have achieved very good results using both glossy and matt photographic quality paper.’
    • ‘Surface quality of the mat side at the final gauge was the most important parameter to be controlled.’
    • ‘You can paint them a dull matt grey to blend in against the sky, but they will stand out.’
    • ‘The keys are big enough, and of themselves perfectly visible, black on matt silver.’
    • ‘In the spring and summer, use containers in soft blues; in autumn and winter, a few pots in matt black planted with tiny, scented cyclamen are also charming and easy.’
    • ‘The matt colours sustain the idea of a quiet experience and the abstract form of painting allows for a personal interpretation.’
    • ‘The large portraits of farm workers are shot against a white background and printed on a matte surface.’
    • ‘The play between glossy and matt surfaces lends a subtle complexity to a simple restaurant fitout.’
    • ‘Its matt surface could be further polished and worked.’
    • ‘Grunting, I twisted my head and spied a few fallen fragments of scale, each one a dull matt black.’
    bare, plain, unpainted, unlacquered, unpolished, unfinished, untreated, raw, natural, matt
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noun

  • 1A matte color, paint, or finish.

    ‘the varnishes are available in gloss, satin, and matte’
    • ‘The shutters, window seats and surround are a very dark varnish and maybe should have been matt to give a softer finish.’
    • ‘The rod is tied in dark red thread over the cane coloured blank, and the overall finish is matt.’
    netting, net, network, tracery, reticulation
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  • 2A sheet of cardboard placed on the back of a picture, either as a mount or to form a border around the picture.

    • ‘The photographs were printed on 8 x 10 sheets, sepia-toned, and presented with ivory-toned mattes and walnut-stained mahogany frames.’

verb

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

    • ‘Afterwards, it was matted down with an industrial scrubber and made to look like marble.’
    • ‘The image is matted with a 16 mm-style frame, just as it was presented in the theatres.’
    • ‘Why not consult him and simply matte the image to recreate the 1.85: 1 aspect ratio?’
    • ‘Have a friend photograph them with a decent camera in nice light, and then print them out in a postcard-sized print and matt them so they look really nice.’
    • ‘Other teachers may prefer to matte the prints for wall display and place photocopies of the notes beside them for students to read.’
    • ‘The footage all has a drab, flat feel and the 1.33: 1 full frame image is badly matted.’
    untidy, messy, scruffy, disordered, dishevelled, disarranged, rumpled, windblown, ungroomed, bedraggled, in a mess, messed up, shabby, slovenly, shaggy
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

matte

/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.

    • ‘Botswana exports are dominated by diamonds, copper/nickel matte, beef and animal products; also exported are textiles and soda ash.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

matte

/mat/

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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Traveling matte was again used to place people on top of the vessel and on the bridge connecting it to land.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Virtually inventing methods of composite mattes in film made the invisible man truly come alive and real.’
    matte, photomask, shadow mask, masking, masking tape
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

matte

/mat/