late 15c., "of or pertaining to a mother or motherhood; characteristic of mothers," from Old French maternel (14c.), from Vulgar Latin *maternalis, from Latin māternus "maternal, of a mother," from māter "mother" (see mother (n.1)). From 1650s as "inherited or derived from a mother;" by 1784 as "motherly, having the instincts of a mother." Related: Maternally.
1610s, "quality or condition of being a mother," from French maternité "motherhood" (15c.), from Medieval Latin maternitatem (nominative maternitas) "motherhood," from Latin māternus "of a mother," from māter "mother" (see mother (n.1)). Used from 1893 as a quasi-adjective in reference to garments designed for pregnant women. Maternity leave in reference to working women is attested by 1942.
"to checkmate," c. 1300, from Old French mater "to checkmate, defeat, overcome," from mat "checkmated" (see checkmate (v.)).
c. 1300, matrimoine, "the married state, the relation of husband and wife, wedlock; the sacrament of marriage," from Old French matremoine "matrimony, marriage" and directly from Latin mātrimōnium "wedlock, marriage" (in plural "wives"), from mātrem (nominative māter) "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + -mōnium, suffix signifying "action, state, condition."
1640s, "lusterless, dull" (of a color or surface), from French mat "dull, dead surface," from Old French mat "beaten down, withered, afflicted, dejected; dull," which is perhaps from Latin mattus "maudlin with drink," from madere "to be wet or sodden, be drunk," from PIE root *mad- "to be wet, drip" (see mast (n.2)). Or the French word might represent a transferred use from chess of mater "to checkmate, defeat," from Arabic (see mate (v.2)).
1590s, "act of killing one's mother;" 1630s, "one who kills his mother;" from French matricide, from Latin mātricida "mother-killer," and mātricidium "mother-killing," from combining form of māter "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + -cida "killer," and -cidium "a killing," from caedere "to slay" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). Related: Matricidal (adj.). Old English had moðorslaga "a matricide, a mother-slayer."
late 14c., matrone, "married woman," usually one of rank or social respectability and mature years (old enough to be the mother of a family, whether actually so or not), from Old French matrone "married woman; elderly lady; patroness; midwife," and directly from Latin mātrona "married woman, wife, matron," from māter (genitive mātris) "mother" (see mother (n.1)).
Also (15c.) "a married female saint." Sense of "female manager of a school, head nurse in a hospital, etc." is recorded by 1550s.
in chess, "a condition of checkmate, the state of the king when he is in check and cannot move out of it," c. 1300, mat, from Old French mat, from mater "to checkmate" (see mate (v.2)).
Fool's mate, a mode of checkmate in which the tyro, moving first, is mated by his opponent's second move.—Scholar's mate, a simple mode of checkmate, sometimes practised on inexperienced players, in which the skilled player's queen, supported by a bishop, mates the tyro in four moves. [Century Dictionary]