What does mate mean?

Definitions for mate
ˈmɑ teɪ, ˈmæt eɪ, mɑˈteɪmate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word mate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mate, first matenoun

    the officer below the master on a commercial ship

  2. teammate, matenoun

    a fellow member of a team

    "it was his first start against his former teammates"

  3. matenoun

    the partner of an animal (especially a sexual partner)

    "he loved the mare and all her mates"; "camels hate leaving their mates"

  4. spouse, partner, married person, mate, better halfnoun

    a person's partner in marriage

  5. match, matenoun

    an exact duplicate

    "when a match is found an entry is made in the notebook"

  6. mate, fellownoun

    one of a pair

    "he lost the mate to his shoe"; "one eye was blue but its fellow was brown"

  7. mate, Paraguay tea, Ilex paraguariensisnoun

    South American holly; leaves used in making a drink like tea

  8. matenoun

    informal term for a friend of the same sex

  9. matenoun

    South American tea-like drink made from leaves of a South American holly called mate

  10. checkmate, mateverb

    a chess move constituting an inescapable and indefensible attack on the opponent's king

  11. copulate, mate, pair, coupleverb

    engage in sexual intercourse

    "Birds mate in the Spring"

  12. match, mate, couple, pair, twinverb

    bring two objects, ideas, or people together

    "This fact is coupled to the other one"; "Matchmaker, can you match my daughter with a nice young man?"; "The student was paired with a partner for collaboration on the project"

  13. checkmate, mateverb

    place an opponent's king under an attack from which it cannot escape and thus ending the game

    "Kasparov checkmated his opponent after only a few moves"


  1. Mateverb

    To breed; to bring (animals) together for the purpose of breeding; as, she mated a doberman with a German shepherd.

  2. Mateverb

    To join together; to fit together; to connect; to link; as, he mated a saw blade to a broom handle to cut inaccessible branches.


  1. matenoun

    The abovementioned plant; the leaves and shoots used for the tea

  2. maténoun

    An evergreen tree, Ilex paraguariensis, native to South America, cultivated for its leaves.

  3. maténoun

    A beverage, resembling tea, made from the dried leaves of this plant.

  4. maténoun

    A cup of this drink.

  5. matenoun

    A fellow, comrade, colleague, partner or someone with whom something is shared, e.g. shipmate, classmate.

  6. matenoun

    A breeding partner.

  7. matenoun

    A friend, usually of the same sex.

    I'm going to the pub with a few mates.

  8. matenoun

    a colloquial, informal and friendly term of address to a stranger, usually male, of similar age

    Excuse me, mate, have you got the time?

  9. matenoun

    In naval ranks, a non-commissioned officer or his subordinate.

  10. matenoun

    A ship's officer, subordinate to the master on a commercial ship.

  11. matenoun

    A first mate.

  12. matenoun

    A technical assistant in certain trades; sometimes an apprentice.

  13. matenoun

    The other member of a matched pair of objects.

    I found one of the socks I wanted to wear, but I couldn't find its mate.

  14. matenoun

    A suitable companion; a match; an equal.

    Ye knew me once no mate / For you; there sitting where you durst not soar.

  15. Etymology: From verb maten, mater, from noun mat, from (māt)

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Matenoun

    Etymology: maca , Saxon; maet, Dutch.

    I that am frail flesh and earthly wight,
    Unworthy match for such immortal mate,
    Myself well wote, and mine unequal fate. Fairy Queen.

    Go, base intruder! over-weening slave!
    Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates. William Shakespeare.

    My competitor
    In top of all design, my mate in empire,
    Friend and companion in the front of war. William Shakespeare.

    You knew me once no mate
    For you; there sitting where you durst not soar. John Milton.

    Damon, behold yon breaking purple cloud;
    Hear’st thou not hymns and songs divinely loud:
    There mounts Amyntas, the young cherubs play
    About their godlike mate, and sing him on his way. Dryd.

    Leave thy bride alone:
    Go, leave her with her maiden mates to play
    At sports more harmless, till the break of day. Dryden.

    Part single, or with mate;
    Graze the sea-weed their pasture, and through groves
    Of coral stray. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. vii.

    Pliny tells us, that elephants know no copulation with any other than their own proper mate. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    What vengeance on the passing fleet she pour’d,
    The master frighted, and the mates devour’d. Wentworth Dillon.

  2. To Mateverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Ensample make of him your hapless joy,
    And of myself now mated as you see,
    Whose prouder vaunt, that proud avenging boy,
    Did soon pluck down, and curb’d my liberty. Fairy Qu.

    The hind, that would be mated by the lion,
    Must die for love. William Shakespeare, All’s well that ends well.

    Some from seeds inclos’d on earth arise,
    For thus the mastful chesnut mates the skies. Dryden.

    Parnassus is its name; whose forky rise
    Mounts through the clouds, and mates the lofty skies:
    High on the summit of this dubious cliff,
    Deucalion wafting moor’d his little skiff. Dryden.

    I i’ th’ way of loyalty and truth,
    Dare mate a sounder man than Surrey can be,
    And all that love his follies. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    That is good deceit
    Which mates him first, that first intends deceit. William Shakespeare.

    The great effects that may come of industry and perseverance who knoweth not? For audacity doth almost bind and mate the weaker sort of minds. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    My sense she ’as mated, and amaz’d my sight. William Shakespeare.

    Why this is strange; go call the abbess hither;
    I think you are all mated, or stark mad. William Shakespeare.


  1. mate

    Mate usually refers to a life partner in animals, including humans. It can also imply a pair or a match; in social context, it could mean a friend or companion. In the game of chess, it refers to a position resulting in a checkmate. In nautical terms, it means an officer on a merchant ship. Therefore, the exact definition can vary depending on the context.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Matenoun

    the Paraguay tea, being the dried leaf of the Brazilian holly (Ilex Paraguensis). The infusion has a pleasant odor, with an agreeable bitter taste, and is much used for tea in South America

  2. Matenoun

    same as Checkmate

  3. Mateadjective

    see 2d Mat

  4. Mateverb

    to confuse; to confound

  5. Mateverb

    to checkmate

  6. Matenoun

    one who customarily associates with another; a companion; an associate; any object which is associated or combined with a similar object

  7. Matenoun

    hence, specifically, a husband or wife; and among the lower animals, one of a pair associated for propagation and the care of their young

  8. Matenoun

    a suitable companion; a match; an equal

  9. Matenoun

    an officer in a merchant vessel ranking next below the captain. If there are more than one bearing the title, they are called, respectively, first mate, second mate, third mate, etc. In the navy, a subordinate officer or assistant; as, master's mate; surgeon's mate

  10. Mateverb

    to match; to marry

  11. Mateverb

    to match one's self against; to oppose as equal; to compete with

  12. Mateverb

    to be or become a mate or mates, especially in sexual companionship; as, some birds mate for life; this bird will not mate with that one

  13. Etymology: [Sp.]


  1. Mate

    Mate, also known as chimarrão or cimarrón, is a traditional South American infused drink, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and the southern states of Brazil and to a lesser degree in south of Chile, the Bolivian Chaco, Syria and Lebanon. It is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla in some Latin American countries, a bomba in Portuguese, and a bombija or, more generally, a masassa in Arabic. The straw is traditionally made of silver. Modern, commercially available straws are typically made of nickel silver, called Alpaca; stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane. The gourd is known as a mate or a guampa; while in Brazil, it has the specific name of cuia, or also cabaça. Even if the water is supplied from a modern thermos, the infusion is traditionally drunk from mates or cuias.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mate

    māt, n. a companion: an equal: one of a pair, the male or female of animals that go in pairs: in a merchant-ship the first-mate is the second in command—in the navy the term is now confined to petty-officers, such as boatswain's mate, gunner's mate, &c.: an assistant, deputy.—v.t. to be equal to: to become a companion to: to marry.—adj. Mate′less, without a mate or companion. [A.S. ge-maca; Ice. maki, an equal, from the same root as make. Cf. match. Prob. mate in its naut. sense is Dutch—Old Dut. maet, mod. maat.]

  2. Mate

    māt, n. and v.t. in chess=Checkmate.

  3. Mate

    Maté, mä′tā, n. a South American species of holly, the leaves and green shoots of which, dried and roughly ground, furnish the yerba de mate of Paraguay and Brazil. [Sp. mate, orig. the vessel in which it was infused for drinking.]

  4. Mate

    māt, v.t. (Bacon) to weaken, to confound, to crush. [O. Fr. mater; cf. Sp. matar, to weaken.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. mate

    Generally implies adjunct or assistant.

Editors Contribution

  1. mate

    two living species of opposite sex together by a union or marriage for the purpose of forming a family and through sexual intercourse maintaining its species in evolution.

    adam and eve

    Submitted by anonymous on February 15, 2014  

Suggested Resources

  1. MATÉ

    What does MATÉ stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the MATÉ acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. MATE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Mate is ranked #23662 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Mate surname appeared 1,071 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Mate.

    80.1% or 858 total occurrences were White.
    7.5% or 81 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    6.5% or 70 total occurrences were Asian.
    2.9% or 32 total occurrences were Black.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'mate' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1491

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'mate' in Nouns Frequency: #1597

Anagrams for mate »

  1. tame

  2. team

  3. meat

  4. meta

  5. Meta

  6. tame

  7. team

  8. meat

  9. meta

  10. tema

How to pronounce mate?

How to say mate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of mate in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of mate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of mate in a Sentence

  1. Anmol Andore:

    I can't lose you. Because if I ever did, I'd have lost my best friend, my soul, my mate, my smile, my laugh, and my everything.

  2. Valentina Mella:

    Koalas are nocturnal animals, so they are only active at night, and they are arboreal, which means that they live in trees and rely on them for food, shelter and, as we just discovered, also for drinking, koalas actually spend 98% of their lives in trees and the only time they are on the ground is when they are trying to find another tree with a more generous food supply or a mate.

  3. Hugh Jackman:

    Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate, everyone, let's just please be kind to each other. Bullying is not OK, period.

  4. Professor Johnson:

    It is a really important reminder that we cohabit with these animals and our backyards were n’t always there, they might be moving through your backyard because they want to find another tree or a mate and their genomes show they’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years — and that’s really important to maintain.

  5. Mauricio Macri:

    My running mate will be Gabriela Michetti.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for mate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • زميلArabic
  • paaren, Kumpel, MaatGerman
  • σύντροφος, ταίρι, συνέταιρος, συνάδελφος, συνεργάτης, υποπλοίαρχος, ζευγαρώνω, φίλοςGreek
  • parejaSpanish
  • رفیقPersian
  • kaveri, matruusi, toveri, apumies, pari, [[tehdä]] [[matti]], perämiesFinnish
  • copain, accoupler, camaradeFrench
  • 友達, 相手Japanese
  • mateLatin
  • mete, e hoaMāori
  • awankan, awan, pasanganMalay
  • koppelen, gast, partner, kameraad, scheepsmaat, paren, paringsgezel, gezel, maat, makker, gabberDutch
  • поставить мат, товарищ, приятель, друг, самка, спариваться, помощник капитана, самец, пара, напарник, напарница, спариватьRussian
  • çiftTurkish

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    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    • A. peccadillo
    • B. recital
    • C. sweep
    • D. impurity

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