Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.


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

[Middle English matrone, from Old French, from Latin mātrōna, from māter, mātr-, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots.]

ma′tron·al adj.
ma′tron·li·ness n.
ma′tron·ly adv. & adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
(32.) In Pitoeffs production, the actress Mady Berry was specifically selected for her accent and matronal appearance.
A referee for Helios notes that Octavia, Livia, and all women of the imperial household are ipso facto more visible than the women for whom they were expected to model matronly behavior; paradoxically, they are asked to exemplify the ideal matronal invisibility that their public prominence renders impossible.