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matrix /meitriks/ n

[L = breeding female, register, (in late L) womb, f. matr-, mater MOTHER ]

1 the physical, cultural, social or political environment in which something is bred, produced or developed.

2 a) a mass of fine grained rock in which gems, crystals or fossils are embedded.  b) any relatively fine or homogeneous substance in which coarser or larger particles are embedded.

3 a mould in which something (such as an engraving or record) is cast or shaped.

4 a grid-like arrangement of elements, a lattice.

5 Math. An array of symbols or mathematical expressions arranged in a rectangle of rows and columns, treated as a single entity.