n. (pl. matrices or matrixes)
1. a mould in which a thing is cast or shaped, such as a gramophone record, printing type, etc.
2 a an environment or substance in which a thing is developed. b a womb.
3 a mass of fine-grained rock in which gems, fossils, etc., are embedded.
4 Math. a rectangular array of elements in rows and columns that is treated as a single element.
5 Biol. the substance between cells or in which structures are embedded.
6 Computing a gridlike array of interconnected circuit elements.
Phrases and idioms:
matrix printer dot matrix printer (see DOT(1)).
Etymology: L, breeding-female, womb, register f. mater matris mother