September 26, 2011
- matinee (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : a theatrical performance held in the daytime and especially in the afternoon
- How do you use it?
- We raced to the movie theater right after school to catch the matinee.
- Are you a word wiz?
As you can probably guess, "matinee" didn't originate in English. From what language did English borrow "matinee"?If you picked C, tres bien, you're right! "Matinee" was borrowed into English from French, but the French word traces back to Latin and to Roman mythology. According to Roman myth, Matuta was the goddess of the morning. From her name the Romans coined the adjective "matutinus," meaning "of the morning." Medieval French speakers borrowed the Latin word to make "matin," meaning "morning," which was eventually transformed into "matinee." "Matinee" in French refers to the morning and to performances given during the day. English borrowed "matinee" in the mid-1800s, keeping the meaning of a daytime performance.