Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A married woman or a widow, especially a mother of dignity, mature age, and established social position.
  • n. A woman who acts as a supervisor or monitor in a public institution, such as a school, hospital, or prison.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mature woman; a wife or a widow, especially, one who has borne children; a woman of staid or motherly manners.
  • n. A housekeeper; especially, a woman who manages the domestic economy of a public institution; a head nurse in a hospital; as, the matron of a school or hospital.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wife or a widow, especially, one who has borne children; a woman of staid or motherly manners.
  • n. A housekeeper; esp., a woman who manages the domestic economy of a public instution; a head nurse in a hospital.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A married woman, especially an elderly married woman, or a woman old enough to be the mother of a family, whether actually so or not; a woman possessing the gravity suitable to a mother.
  • n. In a special sense, a head nurse in a hospital; the female head or superintendent of any institution.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a wardress in a prison
  • n. a woman in charge of nursing in a medical institution
  • n. a married woman (usually middle-aged with children) who is staid and dignified

Etymologies

Middle English matrone, from Old French, from Latin mātrōna, from māter, mātr-, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French matrone, Latin matrona ("married woman"), from mater ("mother") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "On my way there I spotted a young matron with three children in baggy pants, oversize shirts, and hats with the brim in the back" - I have only this to say regarding said "matron" - she is a failure as a parent.

    Sound Politics: School shooting

  • A good woman, too, who will _mother_ -- not 'matron' -- the girls.

    The Other Girls

  • Mr. TAKEI: And she didn't like the word matron, so we called her best lady, Nichelle Nichols ...

    George Takei Of 'Star Trek' Plays 'Not My Job'

  • I called the matron of the dormitories at 7pm that night, in true worried-mother fashion.

    Archive 2007-09-01

  • SAKULĀ, or PAKULĀ, a brahmin matron of Sāvatthī, foremost of the Sisters who had the faculty of the 'Eye Celestial' (Ang. Nik, i.

    Psalms of the Sisters

  • "No," she replied, "the matron is sick; I am her assistant.

    Ten Days in a Mad-House

  • To the world at large her habits seemed those of the ancient Roman matron, which is recorded on her tomb in these four words,

    The Surgeon's Daughter

  • But since the matron was abolished and nurses no longer have responsibility for the cleanliness of the ward, we're apparently unable to manage such complex tasks as emptying bins and washing water jugs.

    Archive 2004-06-13

  • Pia Nillson is known as the matron of Swedish golf and credited with helping Sorenstam with her mental approach to the game.

    CNN Transcript May 23, 2003

  • "It's yon 'as hurts her," said Kate, calling the matron's attention to something on the child's shoulders.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XVI., December, 1880.

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