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[mey-truh n] /ˈmeɪ trən/
a married woman, especially one who is mature and staid or dignified and has an established social position.
a woman who has charge of the domestic affairs of a hospital, prison, or other institution.
a woman serving as a guard, warden, or attendant for women or girls, as in a prison.
Origin of matron
1350-1400; Middle English matrone < Latin mātrōna a married woman, wife, derivative of māter mother
Related forms
[mey-truh-nl, ma-] /ˈmeɪ trə nl, ˈmæ-/ (Show IPA),
matronhood, matronship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for matron
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "And I saw her lights go on as soon as she went in," added the matron, pointing to the distant illuminated transom.

    The Slayer Of souls Robert Chambers
  • Never ought so worthy, so valuable a matron to be lost to the world.

    Gomez Arias Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso
  • If any woman be found disobedient in these respects, the yard-keeper is to report the case to the matron.

    Elizabeth Fry Mrs. E. R. Pitman
  • And the matron—not Miss Coffin, but the other one—called me 'Maggie.'

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The matron maintained the rank which had been assigned to her as a maiden.

  • On a morning in August the matron's report had closed with a startling item.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • But how can Nora go away on a wedding journey and be Jessica's matron of honor, too?

  • Then Sister Allworthy whispered to the matron, who said, "Bring her in."

    The Christian Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for matron


a married woman regarded as staid or dignified, esp a middle-aged woman with children
a woman in charge of the domestic or medical arrangements in an institution, such as a boarding school
(US) a wardress in a prison
(Brit) the former name for the administrative head of the nursing staff in a hospital Official name nursing officer
Derived Forms
matronal, adjective
matronhood, matronship, noun
matron-like, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin mātrōna, from māter mother
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
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Word Origin and History for matron

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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