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From Middle English matrone, from Old French matrone, from Latin mātrōna (married woman), from māter (mother). Doublet of matrona.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmeɪtɹən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪtɹən


matron (plural matrons)

  1. A mature or elderly woman.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), new edition, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      grave from her cradle, insomuch that she was a matron before she was a mother
  2. A wife or a widow, especially, one who has borne children.
  3. A woman of staid or motherly manners.
    • c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii], page 146, column 2:
      But there’s no bottome, none / In my Voluptuouſneſſe : Your Wiues, your Daughters, / Your Matrons, and your Maides, could not fill vp / The Ceſterne of my Luſt, and my Deſire / All continent Impediments would ore-beare / That did oppoſe my will.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
  4. A housekeeper, especially, a woman who manages the domestic economy of a public institution.
  5. A senior female nurse in an establishment, especially a hospital or school.
    the matron of a school or hospital
  6. (US) A female prison officer.

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matron in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913