Main definitions of mate in English

: mate1mate2maté3

mate1

noun

  • 1The sexual partner of a bird or other animal.

    ‘a male bird sings to court a mate’
    • ‘He then told them that he would take all steps necessary so that the zoo gets new species of animals and mates for those animals that are single now.’
    • ‘Both admitted intentionally killing a wild bird, injuring its mate and having a loaded air rifle without lawful authority.’
    • ‘Andean condor Homer and his mate Marge are love birds again - after vets gave him a blunter beak to save her from the sharp side of his temper.’
    • ‘In medieval times, there was a romantic belief that birds chose their mate in February.’
    • ‘The bird and its mate had built the nest in the bottom of the box and laid five tiny eggs.’
    • ‘Whenever possible, we selected birds whose mates were present at the nest to ensure that chicks were not left alone.’
    • ‘Even animals have their mates, although some just procreate and leave.’
    • ‘To examine this question, we looked at the age of the mates of birds that did not emigrate.’
    • ‘Many are still waiting, but some morning soon they too will wake to the lilt of a backyard bird pleading for a mate.’
    • ‘The birds attract mates by the color intensity of their feathers - a signal of their desirability.’
    • ‘It traps pheromones to alert potential mates of sexual receptivity.’
    • ‘A randy tortoise is on the run after scaling a two-foot wall in search of a new partner after his mate of 38 years died.’
    • ‘The male partner will provision his mate with food but does not go into the maternity den.’
    • ‘The bird lives there for free along with his mates and fledglings.’
    • ‘This animal, which has lived without a mate for her entire life at the zoo, will always be remembered as one who never fell ill and as one who never threw a tantrum.’
    • ‘This was the time when the birds were believed to choose their mate for the spring.’
    • ‘Birds sing to establish territories and to attract mates.’
    • ‘At this stage males still accept additional mates and are actively courting.’
    • ‘When an incubating bird is relieved by its returning mate, it leaves the nest immediately and flies away from the island.’
    • ‘Her mate appeared to counter-sing in response to the song of the female.’
    1. 1.1informal A person's husband, wife, or other sexual partner.
      ‘he couldn't satisfy his frisky young mate’
      • ‘She said if we treated our husbands / mates like we treated our pet dogs, our marriages would be happier.’
      • ‘I mean, that's terrible to lose a life partner and a mate at any age, but certainly at a young age like that.’
      • ‘From this perspective, the problem of your missus or your mate takes on added significance.’
      • ‘How did your potential mate treat his/her last girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife?’
      • ‘You are a passionate, compassionate, sexual lover, requiring the same qualities from your mate.’
      • ‘Focus on muscle control as you stare into your mate's eyes and mirror his moves.’
      • ‘Paired with a loving mate, this sign makes a loyal and ever-interesting lover.’
      • ‘So, I asked my daughter, do the teachers talk of love - for mate and child - in terms of respect?’
      • ‘Her devoted mate of six decades is a retired production supervisor.’
      • ‘Her devoted mate of five decades was an insurance agent.’
      • ‘Image is everything in Hollywood, and one's mate is among one's most important accessories.’
      • ‘It is always terrifying to give birth; how much more so without one's mate there to share the moment?’
      partner, husband, wife, spouse, lover, live-in lover, amour, significant other, inamorato, inamorata, companion, helpmate, helpmeet, consort
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2informal One of a matched pair.
      ‘a sock without its mate’
      • ‘Have you ever wondered as to the whereabouts of the mate to those odd socks you find in the dryer or your sock drawer?’
      match, fellow, twin, companion, pair, one of a pair, other half, equivalent, counterpart
      View synonyms
  • 2in combination A fellow member or joint occupant of a specified thing.

    ‘his table-mates’
    partner, husband, wife, spouse, lover, live-in lover, amour, significant other, inamorato, inamorata, companion, helpmate, helpmeet, consort
    View synonyms
  • 3British informal A friend or companion.

    ‘my best mate Steve’
    • ‘I am now retired, time-rich and have a wealth of good friends and drinking mates.’
    • ‘We were pals, chums, mates and the bosomiest of bosom buddies.’
    • ‘It's all about meeting up with old mates, making new friends and being part of a massive crowd with one thing in common.’
    • ‘Anyway, my doctor friend and his golfing mates are welcome to have a cutting.’
    • ‘On the way back we bought fresh mangoes and dragon fruit from a road side stall and my mates made friends with the owner and got double portions.’
    • ‘He has few mates, preferring the company of his current partner, two children from different couplings, a hound and local goats.’
    • ‘I'm also still in touch with a couple of mates from school.’
    • ‘He prepared for the head shave by growing his hair for three months - and putting up with teasing from his mates at school.’
    • ‘I do really really love going out, particularly with a mate or crowd of mates…’
    • ‘He didn't tell his mates at school about all his medical problems and he didn't mention that against all the odds, he was a sporting champion.’
    • ‘The subdued lighting and stylish interior are perfect for a pre-club swally with mates or an intimate quaff with your latest flame.’
    • ‘His mates woke him with seconds to spare, and he dressed somewhat hurriedly.’
    • ‘So at the bus stop outside work at 3.30 pm, I ran into an old mate from school.’
    • ‘A mate of mine from school is throwing a flat-warming party, which a number of people from school are going to be at.’
    • ‘I feel like a dunce in this company, until I get talking to some of my mates in the group who share a lot of my frustrations and aspirations, and are a holy if unruly group.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago, I had a bunch of my mates and their respective partners back at my place after we'd all been out at some do or other.’
    • ‘It's shaping up to be a great party, all of us together at the barbeque, mates, mates of mates and partners of mates.’
    • ‘Firemen came in looking for images of their mates who had gone into the blazing buildings.’
    • ‘More and more anglers are either going solo, or going in partnership with a mate or several mates and buying their own boat.’
    • ‘The fire glows, venison stew simmers, the hunter and his mates drink beer and yarn on into a New Zealand night.’
    friend, companion, boon companion, comrade, intimate, familiar, confidant, alter ego, second self
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Used as a friendly form of address between men or boys.
      ‘‘See you then, mate.’’
      • ‘Better get that down you then, mate, keep the cold at bay.’
      • ‘You want a slap in the face, mate?’
      • ‘This one's for you, mate, and I promise never to call your wheels a ‘second division footballer's car’ again.’
      • ‘And if I have mistranslated, remember that it's all from my memory, mate.’
      • ‘Not on your bloody life, mate, we know what's in it.’
      • ‘It may be just a smear to you, mate, but it's life and death to some poor wretch.’
      • ‘I just had the perfect run, mate, it was like I was in the zone, you know, it was just all happening for me, and I just got the best run through.’
      • ‘That trademark murmur of his implies ‘I've seen it all before, mate, and I tell it like is.’’
      • ‘I'm really sorry about this, mate, but it's for your own good, honest.’
      • ‘Go on the cabbage soup diet, mate, it worked for me.’
      • ‘Well maybe you should mediate because I wouldn't want to be left alone in a room with her, mate.’
      • ‘‘These days it's sibling revelry, mate,’ Tim jokes in his soft New Zealand accent.’
      • ‘The defendant then shouted at the injured driver, ‘There's no damage, mate, you're alright’.’
      • ‘You reach your own conclusions, mate, I don't have to spell it out.’
      • ‘Bear in mind that you can buy without a guilty conscience - it's for charity, mate!’
      • ‘He wound down his window, leant over, and said, ‘What direction you headed in, mate?’’
      • ‘‘You shouldn't leave your door open, mate,’ he said as he realised I was right behind him.’
      • ‘You will need to watch the thing more than once, mate.’
      • ‘And if you think you can shoot off emails like that without getting an enraged response, you'd better think again, mate.’
      • ‘None of that euphemistic glowing or perspiring here, mate.’
      man, my friend
      View synonyms
  • 4British An assistant or deputy in certain trades.

    ‘a plumber's mate’
    • ‘We had no lifting training and were not provided with driver's mates to assist with the lifting involved.’
    • ‘She's now an aviation electrician's mate and soon will start in the shop for electricians.’
    assistant, helper, apprentice, subordinate
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1An officer on a merchant ship subordinate to the master.
      See also first mate
      • ‘The same applied to the sailing master, his mate, and the carpenter when they also arrived.’
      • ‘The ship's mates would be here at any minute, and I would lose my charter to Antwerp if I was caught.’
      • ‘When a sailor ‘belonged’ to a ship his main loyalty was to his ship and his mates.’
      • ‘It seems likely that there was a minimum crew comprising master, mate, boatswain, at least two seamen and possibly one apprentice.’
      • ‘Some say they are old mates or boatswains watching to see that your job is done in a proper ship-shape way.’
      • ‘This was only to be expected, and it was the mate and second mates' jobs to motivate them with threats and promises.’
      • ‘Perhaps the captain and his mate would like to make me an offer?’
      • ‘Two are professionally qualified skippers and mates; the others are volunteer crew.’
      • ‘Therefore the defendant's fault was not a cause of the collision which occurred while the mate was in charge of the ship.’
      • ‘Several of the crewmen had heard word of their new expedition, and could not help but to share it with their fellow mates.’
      • ‘Johnny tried, failed, and eventually gave up on getting the captain and mate to reach peace.’
      • ‘To make matters worse, he put the tanker on autopilot and he left the helm in the hands of a fatigued third mate.’

verb

  • 1no object (of animals or birds) come together for breeding; copulate.

    ‘successful males may mate with many females’
    as noun mating ‘ovulation occurs only if mating has taken place’
    • ‘Two other fly species mated and formed a hybrid, a combined form that cannot mate with its fellow hybrids.’
    • ‘Many animals and birds mate for life and this seems to work quite well for them.’
    • ‘Researchers have found that the female monkeys and rats mate with multiple males to purposely confuse paternity.’
    • ‘It was the hope of the zoo that the gorilla would mate with the female to help further the species.’
    • ‘Crouching, with wings outstretched, the huge birds mate, then fly away together to a nearby glade.’
    • ‘White tigers are rare because they only occur when two tigers mate and both carry the gene for white coloring.’
    • ‘How do foxes manage to mate with so many animals from other social groups?’
    • ‘Two of the captive birds successfully mated and produced the first captive-bred condor chick the following year.’
    • ‘Music was pumping through the stereo system - some latest hip-hop thing that sounded like two cats mating on a tin roof.’
    • ‘She just stood there, staring off at some birds mating in a tree.’
    • ‘The big test will come next spring when it is hoped that the birds will mate.’
    • ‘Members of the same species can mate and breed to produce fertile offspring.’
    • ‘For simplicity, we assume that each individual only mates with one partner.’
    • ‘Albatross are faithful birds and only mate once a year with one regular partner.’
    • ‘Also it has been found that if a farmed fish mates with a wild fish the genetics of their spawn is modified.’
    • ‘Once a bull mates with a cow, he will look for greener pastures elsewhere and will not mate with the ‘old cow’ again.’
    • ‘Queenless colonies generally rear male and female sexuals which typically mate in the nest.’
    • ‘In the fall, adults gather in the colonies to form pair bonds and mate.’
    • ‘In late winter they migrate to selected shallow bays, forming congregations to pair and eventually mate.’
    • ‘The pandas only have one mating season per year, and the San Diego pair did not mate.’
    copulation, copulating, coupling, sexual intercourse, intercourse, sex, procreation
    sexually active, breeding
    breed, couple
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Bring (animals) together for breeding.
      ‘a male is mated to several females’
      • ‘At different intervals, rabbits were mated with males of proven fertility.’
      • ‘Treated mice were mated with untreated female T-stock mice.’
      • ‘Owners pay about £60,000 a time to mate their mares with him.’
      • ‘Breeders in England and the United States have been successfully mating the rare species.’
      • ‘He succeeded in mating a cow with the menagerie's bison, but the ensuing pregnancy came to a disastrous end.’
      • ‘In a follow-up study, the researchers mated unexposed rats with offspring of treated moms.’
      • ‘The mice were mated systematically to generate the different allelic combinations.’
      • ‘As well, there is a reluctance on the part of farmers to mate any bulls for fear they will lose their strength and condition.’
      • ‘Then the scientists mated mice deficient in the GIP receptor with mice that lack leptin, a hormone that signals satiety.’
      • ‘Flies were mated for 4 days and eggs laid within the following 5 days were counted.’
      • ‘Sex ratio of their progeny was not considered in sire selection, and the bulls were not mated to the same group of cows in consecutive years.’
      • ‘Depending upon the year, 15-40% of males are socially mated with more than one female within a given breeding season.’
      • ‘After irradiation each male was individually mated with two non-exposed females over a period of 3-4 days and then removed.’
      • ‘After this, each female was mated individually with two males from the stem population and kept with them for 3 days.’
      • ‘In the second part of the study, we mated females to males of differing eye span and examined the effects on fecundity and fertility.’
      • ‘To examine sperm transport in the female reproductive tract, males were mated with superovulated females.’
      • ‘Following exposure, exposed and control females were mated with intact males.’
      • ‘After selection the chosen males and females were mated at random within line.’
      • ‘Animals mated this Autumn should be 100% sound.’
      • ‘So clean animals are separated from unclean animals, and it is forbidden to sow two kinds of seed in one field, to wear clothes of two kinds of fabric, or to mate two kinds of animals.’
      couple, pair, join, bring together
      View synonyms
  • 2Connect or be connected mechanically.

    with object ‘the four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed gearbox’
    • ‘It is a 16 valve, four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo charged engine mated to a six-speed gear box.’
    • ‘While being basically hand-built, they were done on an assembly line, with the mechanicals being mated to the body shell around half way down the line.’
    • ‘Backplanes permit drives to be snapped in and mated to a connector blindly.’
    • ‘The hydraulic drive (using a standard travel motor and brake from the excavator) is mated to a planetary gearbox.’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a tricky gearbox which gives you the option of being fully automatic, or a clutchless sequential manual.’
    • ‘The two most powerful engines are mated to a six-speed gearbox.’
    • ‘A stiff nylon outsole is mated to a mesh and leather upper.’
    • ‘And the transmission is mated to a powertrain that wallows in a vast reservoir of torque.’
    • ‘One of the issues is to make sure that the right bodies are mated to the correct chassis.’
    • ‘The fastest engine in the range, the latter diesel plant is now mated to a 6-speed gearbox.’
    • ‘The front end is contained within a tapered bushing that mates with a corresponding taper in the slide.’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle - gradually emerging as the new industry standard for luxury cars.’
    • ‘The two power sources are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that is claimed to have the efficiencies of a manual.’
    • ‘On the test car, the engine was mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.’
    • ‘The fuselage has been removed from the assembly jig and mated to the wing.’
    • ‘The 26-inch, fluted barrel is mated to an action made without magazine cutout for maximum stiffness and accuracy.’
    • ‘The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox while the rack and pinion steering features variable power assistance.’
    • ‘The V6 is mated to a new five-speed transmission.’
    • ‘These are mated to 6 speed manual transmissions or 5 speed auto.’
    • ‘The reborn engine is then mated to a close ratio six-speed manual transmission and the new powertrain is reunited with the body.’

Phrases

    mates' rates
    informal
    • Discounted prices or preferential terms offered to friends by the seller of a product or service.

      ‘Rick arranged for the repair to be done at mates' rates’
      • ‘Joe, tell him George sent you and you'll easily get mates' rates.’
      • ‘It provided billions in aid, free military hardware, latest intelligence support and some of the best mates' rates in international politics.’
      • ‘Paul is offering him some gash about his friend being a printer and giving mates' rates.’
      • ‘If Chelle had been a physio like she wanted to when she was a teenager, I could be getting mates' rates.’
      • ‘No transparency, no accountability, mates' rates - let's take our money and run.’
      • ‘However by this time I had the trike finished and with the help of friends and the good old Australian 'mates' rates' it had cost me next to nothing in monetary terms, which pleased Lora to no end.’
      • ‘If you're in that area, and want your carpets cleaned, give them a call and say Paddy said to give you a mates' rates price.’
      • ‘I have to make a website for a friend (mates' rates unfortunately - free).’
      • ‘I bought it off a friend at mate's rates.’

Origin

Late Middle English from Middle Low German māt(e) ‘comrade’, of West Germanic origin; related to meat (the underlying concept being that of eating together).

Pronunciation

mate

/meɪt/

Main definitions of mate in English

: mate1mate2maté3

mate2

noun & verb

Chess
short for checkmate
  • ‘He carelessly walked into a mate in five, which he thought was simply drawing.’
  • ‘This book starts with mates in one and, around page one million, moves on to mate in twos.’
  • ‘He wasn't paying attention since he saw that a forced mate resulted from the line he actually played.’
  • ‘Can you find the mate in two for White in today's diagram?’
  • ‘For example, the chapter on endgame technique focuses on mating with bishop and knight and the rook and pawn versus rook endgame.’

Phrases

    fool's mate
    Chess
    • A game in which White is mated by Black's queen on the second move.

    scholar's mate
    Chess
    • A game in which White mates Black on the fourth move with the queen, supported by the king's bishop.

Origin

Middle English the noun from Anglo-Norman French mat (from the phrase eschec mat ‘checkmate’); the verb from Anglo-Norman French mater ‘to checkmate’.

Pronunciation

mate

/meɪt/

Main definitions of maté in English

: mate1mate2maté3

maté3

noun

mass noun
  • 1

    (also maté tea)
    A bitter infusion of the leaves of a South American shrub, which is high in caffeine.

    ‘maté has an agreeable slightly aromatic odor’
    • ‘We drink it through a bombilla, the little metal suckable strainer they also use in Argentina to drink maté, an exuberantly undrinkable local tea brewed from some violent green shrub.’
    • ‘A popular social pastime is the drinking of maté, a tea made from the leaves of a plant related to holly.’
    • ‘Other dried plant substances used to make infused drinks are chicory (dried root), cocoa (dried powdered seeds), guarana (dried powdered seeds, made into smoked cakes), cola ‘nut’ (dried powdered seeds), and maté (dried leaves).’
    • ‘One famous pastime is drinking maté, a Paraguayan tea made from holly leaves.’
    • ‘He might be found lying in bed, drinking a cup of maté with seven sugars and reading a new poem to his friend.’
    1. 1.1The leaves of the maté shrub.
  • 2The South American shrub of the holly family which produces maté leaves.

    Ilex paraguariensis, family Aquifoliaceae

    ‘Drinks made of yerba maté are ubiquitous.’

Origin

Early 18th century from Spanish mate, from Quechua mati.

Pronunciation

maté

/ˈmateɪ/