adjective, ma·tur·er, ma·tur·est.

  1. complete in natural growth or development, as plant and animal forms: a mature rose bush.
  2. ripe, as fruit, or fully aged, as cheese or wine.
  3. fully developed in body or mind, as a person: She was a mature woman who took her family responsibilities seriously.
  4. noting or pertaining to an adult who is middle-aged or older (used euphemistically): discrimination against mature applicants.
  5. pertaining to or characteristic of full development: a mature appearance; fruit with a mature softness.
  6. completed, perfected, or elaborated in full by the mind: mature plans.
  7. (of an industry, technology, market, etc.) no longer developing or expanding; having little or no potential for further growth or expansion; exhausted or saturated.
  8. intended for or restricted to adults, especially by reason of explicit sexual content or the inclusion of violence or obscene language: mature movies.
  9. composed of adults, considered as being less susceptible than minors to explicit sexual content, violence, or obscene language, as of a film or stage performance: for mature audiences only.
  10. Finance. having reached the limit of its time; having become payable or due: a mature bond.
  11. Medicine/Medical.
    1. having attained definitive form or function, as by maturation of an epithelium from a basal layer.
    2. having attained the end stage of a normal or abnormal biological process: a mature boil.
  12. Geology. (of a landscape) exhibiting the stage of maximum topographical diversity, as in the cycle of erosion of a land surface.

verb (used with object), ma·tured, ma·tur·ing.

  1. to make mature; ripen, as fruit or cheese.
  2. to bring to full development: His hard experiences in the city matured him.
  3. to complete or perfect: We matured our vision for the company. She matured her songwriting throughout her career.

verb (used without object), ma·tured, ma·tur·ing.

  1. to become mature; ripen, as fruit or cheese.
  2. to come to full development: Our plans have not yet matured.
  3. Finance. to become due, as a note.


  1. relatively advanced physically, mentally, emotionally, etc; grown-up
  2. (of plans, theories, etc) fully considered; perfected
  3. due or payablea mature debenture
  4. biology
    1. fully developed or differentiateda mature cell
    2. fully grown; adulta mature animal
  5. (of fruit, wine, cheese, etc) ripe or fully aged
  6. (of a river valley or land surface) in the middle stage of the cycle of erosion, characterized by meanders, maximum relief, etcSee also youthful (def. 4), old (def. 18)


  1. to make or become mature
  2. (intr) (of notes, bonds, etc) to become due for payment or repayment

adj.mid-15c., “ripe,” also “careful, well-considered,” from Latin maturus “ripe, timely, early” (see mature (v.)). v.late 14c., “encourage suppuration;” mid-15c. “bring to maturity,” from Latin maturare “to ripen, bring to maturity,” from maturus “ripe, timely, early,” related to manus “good” and mane “early, of the morning,” from PIE root *ma- “good,” with derivatives meaning “occurring at a good moment, timely, seasonable, early.” Meaning “come or bring to maturity” is from 1620s. The financial sense of “reach the time for payment” is from 1861. Related: Matured; maturing. adj.

  1. Having reached full natural growth or development.
  2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of full mental or physical development.


  1. To evolve toward or reach full development.
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