match 1 (măch)
a. One that is exactly like another or a counterpart to another: Is there a match for this glove in the drawer?
b. One that is like another in one or more specified qualities: He is John's match for bravery.
2. One that is able to compete equally with another: The boxer had met his match.
a. One that closely resembles or harmonizes with another: The napkins were a nice match for the tablecloth.
b. A pair, each one of which resembles or harmonizes with the other: The colors were a close match.
a. A game or contest in which two or more persons, animals, or teams oppose and compete with each other: a soccer match.
b. A tennis contest won by the player or side that wins a specified number of sets, usually two out of three or three out of five.
5. A marriage or an arrangement of marriage: a royal match.
6. A person viewed as a prospective marriage partner.
v. matched, match·ing, match·es
a. To be like (another) or be a counterpart to: Does this sock match that one?
b. To resemble or harmonize with: The coat matches the dress.
2. To adapt or suit so that a balanced or harmonious result is achieved; cause to correspond: You should match your deeds to your beliefs.
3. To find or produce a counterpart to: It's difficult to match the color of old paint.
4. To pair (someone) with another in a romantic relationship or marriage: She was hoping to match her cousin with her neighbor.
5. To place in opposition or competition; pit: She matched her skill against all comers.
6. To provide with an adversary or competitor: The tournament matches the best offensive team with the best defensive team.
7. To do as well as or better than in competition; equal: She easily matches me in bicycle racing.
8. To set in comparison; compare: beauty that could never be matched.
9. To provide funds so as to equal or complement: The government will match all private donations to the museum.
10. To flip or toss (coins) and compare the sides that land face up.
11. To couple (electric circuits) by means of a transformer.
1. To be exactly like another; correspond exactly: Do the two socks match?
2. To harmonize with another: My shirt and my tie match.
[Middle English macche, from Old English gemæcca, companion, mate; see mag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.