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From matron +‎ -ly.


  • IPA(key): /ˈmeɪtɹənli/
  • (file)


matronly (comparative more matronly, superlative most matronly)

  1. In the capacity of a matron; serving as a housekeeper or head nurse.
    The matronly woman cared for the sick orphan.
  2. Exuding the authority, wisdom, power, and intelligence of an experienced woman.
    ...the matronly upper arms girls know about life and love and losing... Janeane Garofalo
  3. Having the appearance of a mature woman, often of larger physical stature and somewhat unkempt or dowdy.
    Gone is her matronly gray frizzy hair and those bushy brows, frumpy frock and old lady pearls. [1]



matronly (comparative more matronly, superlative most matronly)

  1. In the manner of a matron.
    • 1906, Gertrude Stein, Three Lives, page 166:
      The mother dressed matronly, in a bonnet and in black, always sat between her two big daughters, firm, directing, and repressed.
    • 2004, Irene Kai, The golden mountain: beyond the American dream, →ISBN, page 214:
      She was the same height and weight as Mother and had the same hairdo and dressed matronly like her. It was scary. She looked so much like Mother.
    • 2011 May 25, Kellianne Sweeny, The One That Got Away, →ISBN, page 106:
      “I had to dress matronly to get the position. I've had trouble with that before. I have actually been turned away for a position as stewardess because I was too pretty.”