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[mey-truh n-lee] /ˈmeɪ trən li/
of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a matron; maturely dignified; stately.
characteristic of or suitable for a matron.
Origin of matronly
1650-60; matron + -ly
Related forms
matronliness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for matronly
Historical Examples
  • But she is only cast into a slight shadow by these veils of decency and modesty; and so Truth should show her matronly bearing.

  • Hilda Marsh—Hilda the blooming, the full bosomed, the matronly.

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • Flossie, since she had become engaged, had acquired quite a matronly train of thought.

    All Roads Lead to Calvary Jerome K. Jerome
  • Her features, once soft and matronly, flamed with uncontrollable passions.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • She no longer sprang swiftly from her chair or ran to fetch him a needed tool; her every movement was matronly.

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
  • He does not foresee that in Clara's matronly friend he will behold Marah Rocke!

    Capitola's Peril Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • But as he looked at the quiet man, and the clean, matronly Indian woman he felt that he was leaving Madeline in safe hands.

    The Long Patrol H. A. Cody
  • Let us speak of her—fair and forty, comely, with matronly outlines, but graceful.

    A Book about Doctors John Cordy Jeaffreson
  • She had been recalled by parental authority and was to start for Denver under a matronly wing on the morrow.

  • The lady bent her head with matronly grace, and resumed her walk.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for matronly


of, characteristic of, or suitable for a matron; staid and dignified in a manner associated with a middle-aged, usually plump, woman
Derived Forms
matronliness, noun
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 matronly

1580s (adv.), 1650s (adj.), from matron + -ly (2). An earlier adjective was matron-like (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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