1. a person or thing that equals or resembles another in some respect.
  2. a person or thing able to cope with another as an equal: to meet one’s match.
  3. a person or thing that is an exact counterpart of another.
  4. a corresponding, suitably associated, or harmonious pair: The blue hat and green scarf were not a good match.
  5. Sports.
    1. a game or contest in which two or more contestants or teams oppose each other: a soccer match.
    2. a contest consisting of a specific number of sets: a tennis match.
  6. any contest or competition that resembles a sports match: a shouting match.
  7. a person considered with regard to suitability as a partner in marriage: a good match.
  8. a matrimonial union; marriage: Neither family approved of the match.

verb (used with object)

  1. to equal; be equal to: My talent does not match his.
  2. to be the match or counterpart of; harmonize with: The skirt matches the jacket perfectly.
  3. to cause to correspond; adapt: to match one’s actions to one’s beliefs.
  4. to fit together, as two things: to match the pieces of a puzzle.
  5. to fit (boards) together, side by side or end to end, with a tongue-and-groove or rabbeted joint.
  6. to procure or produce an equal to: Try though we did, we could not match our first success.
  7. to place in opposition or conflict: I matched my wits against his strength.
  8. to provide with an adversary or competitor of equal power: The teams were well matched.
  9. to encounter as an adversary with equal power.
  10. to prove a match for.
  11. to unite in marriage; procure a matrimonial alliance for.
  12. to toss (coins) into the air and then compare the matching or contrasting sides that land facing up, as for determining the winner of a bet.
  13. to match coins with.

verb (used without object)

  1. to be equal or suitable: Our talents match.
  2. to correspond; be of corresponding size, shape, color, pattern, etc.: These gloves do not match.
  3. Archaic. to ally oneself in marriage.


  1. not equalleda landscape of unmatched beauty
  2. (of socks, clothes, etc) not matchingunmatched dresses and stockings


  1. a formal game or sports event in which people, teams, etc, compete to win
  2. a person or thing able to provide competition for anothershe’s met her match in talking ability
  3. a person or thing that resembles, harmonizes with, or is equivalent to another in a specified respectthat coat is a good match for your hat
  4. a person or thing that is an exact copy or equal of another
    1. a partnership between a man and a woman, as in marriage
    2. an arrangement for such a partnership
  5. a person regarded as a possible partner, as in marriage

verb (mainly tr)

  1. to fit (parts) togetherto match the tongue and groove of boards
  2. (also intr sometimes foll by up) to resemble, harmonize with, correspond to, or equal (one another or something else)the skirt matches your shoes well
  3. (sometimes foll by with or against) to compare in order to determine which is the superiorthey matched wits
  4. (often foll by to or with) to adapt so as to correspond withto match hope with reality
  5. (often foll by with or against) to arrange a competition between
  6. to find a match for
  7. electronics to connect (two circuits) so that their impedances are equal or are equalized by a coupling device, to produce a maximum transfer of energy


  1. a thin strip of wood or cardboard tipped with a chemical that ignites by friction when rubbed on a rough surface or a surface coated with a suitable chemicalSee safety match
  2. a length of cord or wick impregnated with a chemical so that it burns slowly. It is used to fire cannons, explosives, etc

adj.1580s, “unrivaled,” from un- (1) “not” + past participle of match (v.). v.“to join one to another” (originally especially in marriage), late 14c., from match (n.2). Meaning “to place (one) in conflict with (another)” is from c.1400. That of “to pair with a view to fitness” is from 1520s; that of “to be equal to” is from 1590s. Related: Matched; matching. n.1“stick for striking fire,” late 14c., macche, “wick of a candle or lamp,” from Old French meiche “wick of a candle,” from Vulgar Latin *micca/*miccia (cf. Catalan metxa, Spanish mecha, Italian miccia), probably ultimately from Latin myxa, from Greek myxa “lamp wick,” originally “mucus,” based on notion of wick dangling from the spout of a lamp like snot from a nostril, from PIE root *meug- “slimy, slippery” (see mucus). Modern spelling is from mid-15c. (English snot also had a secondary sense of “snuff of a candle, burnt part of a wick” from late 14c., surviving at least to late 19c. in northern dialects.) Meaning “piece of cord or splinter of wood soaked in sulfur, used for lighting fires, lamps, candles, etc.” is from 1530. First used 1831 for the modern type of wooden friction match, and competed with lucifer for much of 19c. as the name for this invention. n.2“one of a pair, an equal,” Old English mæcca, “companion, mate, one of a pair, wife, husband, one suited to another, an equal,” from gemæcca, from Proto-Germanic *gamakon “fitting well together” (cf. Old Saxon gimaco “fellow, equal,” Old High German gimah “comfort, ease,” Middle High German gemach “comfortable, quiet,” German gemach “easy, leisurely”), from PIE root *mak-/*mag- “to fit” (see make (v.)). Middle English sense of “matching adversary, person able to contend with another” (c.1300) led to sporting meaning “contest,” first attested 1540s. see meet one’s match; mix and match; whole ball of wax (shooting match).

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