Meaning of matrix

ma•trix

Pronunciation: (mā'triks, ma'-), [key]
— pl. ma•tri•ces ma•trix•es.
  1. something that constitutes the place or point from which something else originates, takes form, or develops: The Greco-Roman world was the matrix for Western civilization.
  2. a formative part, as the corium beneath a nail.
    1. the intercellular substance of a tissue.
    2. Seeground substance.
  3. the fine-grained portion of a rock in which coarser crystals or rock fragments are embedded.
  4. fine material, as cement, in which lumps of coarser material, as of an aggregate, are embedded.
  5. gangue.
  6. a crystalline phase in an alloy in which other phases are embedded.
  7. a mold for casting typefaces.
  8. master (def. 18).
  9. (in a press or stamping machine) a multiple die or perforated block on which the material to be formed is placed.
  10. a rectangular array of numbers, algebraic symbols, or mathematical functions, esp. when such arrays are added and multiplied according to certain rules.
  11. a rectangular display of features characterizing a set of linguistic items, esp. phonemes, usually presented as a set of columns of plus or minus signs specifying the presence or absence of each feature for each item.
  12. Also calleda mold made by electroforming from a disk recording, from which other disks may be pressed.
  13. the womb.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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