follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

mate1

[meyt] /meɪt/
noun
1.
a partner in marriage; spouse.
2.
one member of a pair of mated animals.
3.
one of a pair:
I can't find the mate to this glove.
4.
a counterpart.
5.
an associate; fellow worker; comrade; partner (often used in combination):
classmate; roommate.
6.
friend; buddy; pal (often used as an informal term of address):
Let me give you a hand with that, mate.
7.
Nautical.
  1. first mate.
  2. any of a number of officers of varying degrees of rank subordinate to the master of a merchant ship.
  3. an assistant to a warrant officer or other functionary on a ship.
8.
an aide or helper, as to an artisan; factotum.
9.
a gear, rack, or worm engaging with another gear or worm.
10.
Archaic. an equal in reputation; peer; match.
verb (used with object), mated, mating.
11.
to join as a mate or as mates.
12.
to bring (animals) together for breeding purposes.
13.
to match or marry.
14.
to join, fit, or associate suitably:
to mate thought with daring action.
15.
to connect or link:
a telephone system mated to a computerized information service.
16.
to treat as comparable.
verb (used without object), mated, mating.
17.
to associate as a mate or as mates.
18.
(of animals) to copulate.
19.
(of animals) to pair for the purpose of breeding.
20.
to marry.
21.
(of a gear, rack, or worm) to engage with another gear or worm; mesh.
22.
Archaic. to consort; keep company.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle Low German; replacing Middle English mette, Old English gemetta messmate, guest. See meat
Related forms
mateless, adjective

mate2

[meyt] /meɪt/
noun, verb (used with object), mated, mating, interjection
1.
checkmate (defs 1, 3, 5).
Origin
1175-1225; Middle English mat defeated (adj.), defeat (noun) < Old FrenchPersian; see checkmate
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for mating
  • Sometimes they do engage in extra-pair mating, although they are generally monogamous.
  • Finally, up to two years after the initial mating, disease resistance and other characteristics can be evaluated.
  • Except when raising cubs, they are loners, and they select their mating partners.
  • As bizarre as that sounds, modern strains are unfit for natural mating and must all be artificially inseminated.
  • In contrast, the father of all her children was programmed to die almost immediately after the mating.
  • As soon as the mating season is over they start thinking about the next film.
  • mating preferences, too, vary with a society's level of economic development.
  • The challenge hypothesis was first advanced to explain the mating behaviour of monogamous birds.
  • Deployed properly, they bring the rewards of status and better mating opportunities.
  • We are made to work only for our survival and mating.
British Dictionary definitions for mating

mate1

/meɪt/
noun
1.
the sexual partner of an animal
2.
a marriage partner
3.
  1. (informal, mainly Brit & Austral, NZ) a friend, usually of the same sex: often used between males in direct address
  2. (in combination) an associate, colleague, fellow sharer, etc a classmate, a flatmate
4.
one of a pair of matching items
5.
(nautical)
  1. short for first mate
  2. any officer below the master on a commercial ship
  3. a warrant officer's assistant on a ship
6.
(in some trades) an assistant a plumber's mate
7.
(archaic) a suitable associate
8.
(Austral, slang) mate rates, the reduced rate charged for work done for a friend
verb
9.
to pair (a male and female animal) or (of animals) to pair for reproduction
10.
to marry or join in marriage
11.
(transitive) to join as a pair; match
Derived Forms
mateless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German; related to Old English gemetta table-guest, from metemeat

mate2

/meɪt/
noun, verb
1.
(chess) See checkmate

maté

/ˈmɑːteɪ; ˈmæteɪ/
noun
1.
an evergreen tree, Ilex paraguariensis, cultivated in South America for its leaves, which contain caffeine: family Aquifoliaceae
2.
a stimulating milky beverage made from the dried leaves of this tree
Modern Greek name Paraguay tea, yerba, yerba maté
Word Origin
C18: from American Spanish (originally referring to the vessel in which the drink was brewed), from Quechua máti gourd
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mating

mate

n.

"associate, fellow, comrade," mid-14c., also "companion" (late 14c.), from Middle Low German mate, gemate "one eating at the same table, messmate," from Proto-Germanic *ga-maton "having food (*matiz) together (*ga-)," which is etymologically identical with companion. Cognate with Danish and Swedish mat, German Maat "mate," Dutch maat, from German. Meaning "one of a wedded pair" is attested from 1540s. Used as a form of address by sailors, laborers, etc., since at least mid-15c. Meaning "officer on a merchant vessel is from late 15c.

in chess, "a condition of checkmate," c.1300, mat, from Middle French mat, from Old French mater (see mate (v.2)).

v.

c.1500, "to equal, rival," 1590s as "to match, couple, marry, join in marriage," from mate (n.1). Also, of animals, "to pair for the purpose of breeding." Related: Mated; mating.

"checkmate," c.1300, from Old French mater "to checkmate, defeat, overcome," from mat "checkmated" (see checkmate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
mating in Medicine

mate 1 (māt)
n.

  1. A spouse.

  2. Either of a pair of animals or birds that associate in order to propagate.

  3. Either of a pair of animals brought together for breeding.

v. mat·ed, mat·ing, mates
  1. To become joined in marriage.

  2. To be paired for reproducing; breed.

  3. To copulate.

mating mat·ing (mā'tĭng)
n.
The pairing of a male and a female for the purpose of reproduction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for mating

mate

noun

A friend of the same sex; a friend or companion: Give me a hand, mate (1380+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mate

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mating

9
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with mating