matrilineal (adj.)
"pertaining to or descended from the mother's side," 1897, from matri- + lineal. Related: Matrilineage; matrilineally.
matrilocal (adj.)
1897, from matri- + local.
matrimonial (adj.)
mid-15c., from Middle French matrimonial (14c.) and directly from Late Latin matrimonialis, from Latin matrimonium (see matrimony). Earlier as a noun meaning "a marriage" (late 15c.). Related: Matrimonially.
matrimony (n.)
c.1300, from Old French matremoine "matrimony, marriage" and directly from Latin matrimonium "wedlock, marriage," from matrem (nominative mater) "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + -monium, suffix signifying "action, state, condition."
matrix (n.)
late 14c., "uterus, womb," from Old French matrice "womb, uterus," from Latin matrix (genitive matricis) "pregnant animal," in Late Latin "womb," also "source, origin," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother (n.1)). Sense of "place or medium where something is developed" is first recorded 1550s; sense of "embedding or enclosing mass" first recorded 1640s. Logical sense of "array of possible combinations of truth-values" is attested from 1914. As a verb from 1951.
matroclinous (adj.)
"resembling the mother rather than the father," 1911, from matri- + Greek klinein "to lean" (see lean (v.)).
matron (n.)
late 14c., "married woman" (usually one of rank), from Old French matrone "married woman; elderly lady; patroness; midwife," and directly from Latin matrona "married woman, wife, matron," from mater (genitive matris) "mother" (see mother (n.1)). Sense of "female manager of a school, hospital, etc." first recorded 1550s.
matronly
1580s (adv.), 1650s (adj.), from matron + -ly (2). An earlier adjective was matron-like (1570s).
matronymic (n.)
1794, a hybrid from Latin mater (see mother (n.1)) + Greek-based ending from patronymic. As an adjective from 1874.
matte (n.)
"backing for a picture," 1845, from French; see mat (n.2).
matte (n.)
variant of mat (n.2).
matted (adj.)
"tangled and lying flat" (of hair, etc.), 1610s, past participle adjective from mat (v.).
matter (n.)
c.1200, materie, "subject of thought, speech, or expression," from Anglo-French matere, Old French matere "subject, theme, topic; substance, content, material; character, education" (12c., Modern French matière), from Latin materia "substance from which something is made," also "hard inner wood of a tree" (source also of Portuguese madeira "wood"), from mater "origin, source, mother" (see mother (n.1)). Or, on another theory, it represents *dmateria, from PIE root *dem-/*dom- (source of Latin domus "house," English timber). With sense development in Latin influenced by Greek hyle, of which it was the equivalent in philosophy.

Meaning "physical substance generally, matter, material" is early 14c.; that of "substance of which some specific object is made or consists of" is attested from late 14c. That of "piece of business, affair, activity, situation, circumstance" is from late 14c. From mid-14c. as "subject of a literary work, content of what is written, main theme." Also in Middle English as "cause, reasons, ground; essential character; field of investigation."

Matter of course "something expected" attested from 1739. For that matter attested from 1670s. What is the matter "what concerns (someone), the cause of the difficulty" is attested from mid-15c. To make no matter "be no difference to" also is mid-15c.
matter (v.)
"to be of importance or consequence," 1580s, from matter (n.). Related: Mattered; mattering.
matter-of-fact
also matter of fact, 1570s as a noun, originally a legal term (translating Latin res facti), "that portion of an enquiry concerned with the truth or falsehood of alleged facts," opposed to matter of law. As an adjective from 1712. Meaning "prosaic, unimaginative" is from 1787. Related: Matter-of-factly; matter-of-factness. German Tatsache is said to be a loan-translation of the English word.
Matterhorn
Alpine mountain, from German Matte "meadow, pastureland" (see mead (n.2)) + Horn (see horn (n.)). So called for its horn-like shape.
matterless (adj.)
late 14c., "insubstantial, immaterial, without physical substance," from matter (n.) + -less. From 1610s as "devoid of sense or meaning."
matters (n.)
"events, affairs of a particular sort," 1560s, from plural of matter (n.).
Matthew
masc. proper name, introduced in England by the Normans, from Old French Mathieu, from Late Latin Matthaeus, from Greek Matthaios, contraction of Mattathias, from Hebrew Mattathyah "gift of Jehovah," from mattath "gift." Variant Matthias is from the Greek version.
Matthias
masc. proper name, from Late Latin Matthias, from Greek Matthaios (see Matthew).
matting (n.1)
"process of making mats," 1720, from mat (n.1). Meaning "coarse fabric for mats" is from 1748.
matting (n.2)
"ornamental border of a picture," 1864 from verbal derivative of mat (n.2).
mattock (n.)
Old English mættoc, probably from Vulgar Latin *matteuca "club," related to Latin mateola, a kind of mallet (see mace (n.1)), but this is not certain, and synonymous Russian motyka, Lithuanian matikkas suggest other possibilities. OED says similar words in Welsh and Gaelic are from English.
mattress (n.)
late 13c., from Old French materas (12c., Modern French matelas), from Italian materasso and directly from Medieval Latin matracium, borrowed in Sicily from Arabic al-matrah "the cushion" (also source of Spanish almadraque "mattress," Provençal almatrac), literally "the thing thrown down," from taraha "he threw (down)."
maturate (v.)
1540s, back-formation from maturation. Related: Maturated; maturating.
maturation (n.)
early 15c., "the coming to a head of a boil, etc.; a state of producing pus," from Middle French maturation and directly from Latin maturationem (nominative maturatio), noun of action from past participle stem of maturare "to ripen, make ripe" (see mature (v.)).
mature (v.)
late 14c., "encourage suppuration;" mid-15c. "bring to maturity," from Latin maturare "to ripen, bring to maturity," from maturus "ripe, timely, early," related to manus "good" and mane "early, of the morning," from PIE root *ma- "good," with derivatives meaning "occurring at a good moment, timely, seasonable, early." Meaning "come or bring to maturity" is from 1620s. The financial sense of "reach the time for payment" is from 1861. Related: Matured; maturing.
mature (adj.)
mid-15c., "ripe," also "careful, well-considered," from Latin maturus "ripe, timely, early" (see mature (v.)).
maturely (adv.)
1530s, "promptly," from mature (adj.) + -ly (2). Sense of "with deliberation" is from 1590s; that of "in a way indicative of maturity" is from 1841.
maturescent (adj.)
1727, "grown ripe," from Latin maturescentem (nominative maturescens), present participle of maturescere "be ripe, ripen," from maturus "ripe" (see mature (v.)) + inchoative suffix -escere.
maturity (n.)
early 15c., "maturity of character;" mid-15c., "ripeness," from Middle French maturité and directly from Latin maturitatem (nominative maturitas) "ripeness," from maturus "ripe" (see mature (v.)). Financial sense "state of being due for payment" is from 1815.
matutinal (adj.)
1650s, from Latin matutinalis "pertaining to morning," from matutinus "of or pertaining to the morning," from Matuta, name of the Roman goddess of dawn, related to maturus “early” (see mature (v.)). Earlier in same sense was matutine (mid-15c.). Related: Matutinally.
matzah (n.)
also matza; see matzoh.
matzoh (n.)
also matzo, flat piece of unleavened bread eaten by Jews during the Passover, 1846, from Hebrew matztzah (plural matztzoth) "unleavened bread," literally "juiceless," from stem of matzatz "he sucked out, drained out."
Mau Mau (n.)
African secret society devoted to ending European rule, 1950, from the Kikuyu language of Kenya.
Maud
fem. proper name, from Old French Mahaut, from Medieval Latin Matilda from Germanic (compare Old High German Mahthilda; see Matilda).
maudlin (adj.)
c.1600, "tearful," from Middle English fem. proper name Maudelen (early 14c.), from Magdalene (Old French Madelaine), woman's name, originally surname of Mary the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus in Luke vii:37 (see Magdalene). In paintings, she often was shown weeping as a sign of repentance. Meaning "characterized by tearful sentimentality" is recorded by 1630s.
maul (v.)
mid-13c., meallen "strike with a heavy weapon," from Middle English mealle (mid-13c.) "mace, wooden club, heavy hammer" (see maul (n.). The meaning "damage seriously, mangle" is first recorded 1690s. Related: Mauled; mauling.
maul (n.)
c.1200, mealle, "hammer, usually a heavy one; sledgehammer," from Old French mail "hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet).
maulstick (n.)
"light stick used by painters to support the painting hand," 1650s, from Dutch maalstok, literally "painting stick," from mallen "to paint," from Proto-Germanic *mal- (cognates: Old Norse mæla, Old High German malon "trace, draw, paint," German malen "to paint"), from mal "spot, mark, stain," perhaps from the same root as Greek melas "black" (see melanin), but the original sense is not color but marking. With stock "stick" (see stock (n.1)).
maunder (v.)
"to wander about aimlessly," c.1746, earlier "to mumble, grumble" (1620s), both senses perhaps from frequentative of maund "to beg" (1560s), which is possibly from French mendier "to beg," from Latin mendicare (see mendicant). Related: Maundered; maundering.
Maundy Thursday
Thursday before Easter, mid-15c., from Middle English maunde "the Last Supper," also "ceremony of washing the feet," from Old French mandé, from Latin mandatum "commandment" (see mandate); said to be so called in reference to the opening words of the church service for this day, Mandatum novum do vobis "A new commandment I give unto you" (John xiii:34), words supposedly spoken by Jesus to the Apostles after washing their feet at the Last Supper.
Maurice
masc. proper name, from French Maurice, from Late Latin Mauritius, from Latin Maurus "inhabitant of Mauretania, Moor" (see Moor).
Mauser
1880, German army rifle, introduced 1871, invented by brothers Peter Paul (1838-1914) and Wilhelm (1834-1882) Mauser.
mausoleum (n.)
"magnificent tomb," 1540s, from Latin mausoleum, from Greek Mausoleion, name of the massive marble tomb built 353 B.C.E. at Halicarnassus (Greek city in Asia Minor) for Mausolos, Persian satrap who made himself king of Caria. It was built by his wife (and sister), Artemisia. Counted among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the Middle Ages. General sense of "any stately burial-place" is from c.1600.
mauvais
in French terms in English, "false, worthless," from French mauvais (fem. mauvaise) "bad," 12c., from Vulgar Latin malifatius, literally "one who has a bad lot," from Latin malum "bad" (see mal-) + fatum "fate" (see fate (n.)).
mauve (n.)
purple dye, 1859, from French mauve, from Old French mauve "mallow" (13c.), from Latin malva "mallow;" the dye so called from the color of the mallow plant. Related: Mauvish.
maven (n.)
1965, from Yiddish meyvn, from Hebrew mebhin, literally "one who understands." Plural is mayvinim.
maverick (n.)
1867, "calf or yearling found without an owner's brand," so called for Samuel A. Maverick (1803-1870), Texas cattle owner who was negligent in branding his calves. Sense of "individualist, unconventional person" is first recorded 1886, via notion of "masterless."
mavis (n.)
"song thrush," c.1400, mavys, from Old French mauvis, of unknown origin; related to Spanish malvis. Breton milfid is a French loan word.