AskDefine | Define match

Dictionary Definition



1 lighter consisting of a thin piece of wood or cardboard tipped with combustible chemical; ignites with friction; "he always carries matches to light his pipe" [syn: lucifer, friction match]
2 a formal contest in which two or more persons or teams compete
3 a burning piece of wood or cardboard; "if you drop a match in there the whole place will explode"
4 an exact duplicate; "when a match is found an entry is made in the notebook" [syn: mate]
5 the score needed to win a match
6 a person regarded as a good matrimonial prospect [syn: catch]
7 a person who is of equal standing with another in a group [syn: peer, equal, compeer]
8 a pair of people who live together; "a married couple from Chicago" [syn: couple, mates]
9 something that resembles or harmonizes with; "that tie makes a good match with your jacket"


1 be compatible, similar or consistent; coincide in their characteristics; "The two stories don't agree in many details"; "The handwriting checks with the signature on the check"; "The suspect's fingerprints don't match those on the gun" [syn: fit, correspond, check, jibe, gibe, tally, agree] [ant: disagree]
2 provide funds complementary to; "The company matched the employees' contributions"
3 bring two objects, ideas, or people together; "This fact is coupled to the other one"; "Matchmaker, can you match my daughter with a nice young man?"; "The student was paired with a partner for collaboration on the project" [syn: mate, couple, pair, twin]
4 be equal to in quality or ability; "Nothing can rival cotton for durability"; "Your performance doesn't even touch that of your colleagues"; "Her persistence and ambition only matches that of her parents" [syn: equal, touch, rival]
5 make correspond or harmonize; "Match my sweater" [syn: fit]
6 satisfy or fulfill; "meet a need"; "this job doesn't match my dreams" [syn: meet, cope with]
7 give or join in marriage
8 set into opposition or rivalry; "let them match their best athletes against ours"; "pit a chess player against the Russian champion"; "He plays his two children off against each other" [syn: pit, oppose, play off]
9 be equal or harmonize; "The two pieces match"
10 make equal, uniform, corresponding, or matching; "let's equalize the duties among all employees in this office"; "The company matched the discount policy of its competitors" [syn: equal, equalize, equalise, equate]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Match




  1. Device made of wood or paper, coated with chemicals at the tip, that when dragged against a rough surface, will ignite.
  2. Sporting event such as a boxing meet, a baseball game, or a cricket match.
  3. Someone as skillful as self.
    He knew he had met his match.
  4. A marriage.
  5. Suitability.


device to make fire
sporting event
  • Bulgarian: мач
  • Croatian: meč
  • Czech: zápas
  • Dutch: wedstrijd, match
  • Finnish: ottelu, matsi i colloquial
  • French: match
  • German: Spiel
  • Greek: ματς
  • Hungarian: meccs
  • Italian: incontro, partita, gara
  • Korean: 맞대결 (-對決, mat-daegyeol)
  • Norwegian: kamp, match
  • Polish: mecz
  • Spanish: partido
  • Swedish: match
skillful as self

See also


  1. To agree, to be equal.


to agree; to equal

See also



From match.



  1. match

Usage notes

Sometimes translated as rencontre (sportive).

Extensive Definition

A match is a consumable tool for lighting a fire under controlled circumstances on demand. Matches are readily available, being sold by tobacconists and many other kinds of shops. Matches are rarely sold singly; they are sold in multiples, packaged in match boxes or matchbooks. A match is typically a wooden stick (usually sold in match boxes) or stiff paper stick (usually sold in matchbooks) coated at one end (the match head) with a material often containing the element phosphorus, which will ignite from the heat of friction if rubbed ("struck") against a suitable surface. Gelatin is used as a binder in match heads.
There are two main types of matches: safety matches, which can be struck only against a specially prepared surface; and strike-anywhere matches, for which any solid surface can be used.
Match-type compositions may also be used to produce electric matches, which are fired electrically. These items do not rely on the heat of friction.

History of the term match

match: 1350–1400; Middle English macche (wick) < Middle French meiche, Old French mesche < Vulgar Latin *mesca (lamp wick), metathetic variant of Latin myxa < Greek mýxa, μυξα, (mucus, nostril, nozzle of a lamp)
Historically, the term match referred to lengths of cord, or later cambric, impregnated with chemicals, and allowed to burn continuously. An unsuccessful experiment by his professor, Meissner, gave Irinyi the idea to replace potassium chlorate with lead dioxide in the head of the phosphorus match. Some heads contain antimony(III) sulfide so they burn more vigorously. Safety matches ignite due to the extreme reactivity of phosphorus with the potassium chlorate in the match head. When the match is struck the phosphorus and chlorate mix in a small amount forming something similar to the explosive Armstrong's mixture which ignites due to the friction.
The Lundström brothers - James and Gray - had obtained a sample of red phosphorus from Arthur Albright at The Great Exhibition, held at The Crystal Palace in 1851, and made safety matches with it. They misplaced the matches and did not try them until just before the Paris Exhibition of 1855. They were still usable.

Strike anywhere matches

Two French chemists, Savene and Cahen, developed a safety match using phosphorus sesquisulfide. They proved that the substance was not poisonous, that it could be used in a "strike anywhere" match and that the match heads were not explosive.



  • Beaver, Patrick, (1985). The Match Makers: The story of Bryant & May. London: Henry Melland Limited. ISBN 0-907929-11-7.
  • Emsley, John, (2000). The Shocking History of Phosphorus: A biography of the Devil's element. Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-333-76638-5.
  • Threlfall, Richard E., (1951). The story of 100 years of Phosphorus making: 1851 - 1951. Oldbury: Albright & Wilson Ltd.
  • Oxford (1999). Concise Oxford Dictionary. Tenth Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Steele, H. Thomas (1987). Close Cover Before Striking: The Golden Age of Matchbook Art. Abeville Press.

External links

match in Arabic: عود ثقاب
match in Min Nan: Hoan-á-hoé
match in Bulgarian: Кибрит
match in Catalan: Misto
match in Czech: Zápalky
match in Danish: Tændstik
match in German: Streichholz
match in Estonian: Tuletikk
match in Modern Greek (1453-): Σπίρτο
match in Spanish: Fósforo (utensilio)
match in Esperanto: Alumeto
match in Persian: کبریت
match in French: Allumette
match in Galician: Misto
match in Classical Chinese: 火柴
match in Ido: Alumeto
match in Indonesian: Korek api
match in Italian: Fiammifero
match in Hebrew: גפרור
match in Georgian: ასანთი
match in Swahili (macrolanguage): Kibiriti
match in Luxembourgish: Fixspoun
match in Lithuanian: Degtukas
match in Lingala: Alimɛ́ti
match in Hungarian: Gyufa
match in Malay (macrolanguage): Mancis
match in Dutch: Lucifer (vuur)
match in Dutch Low Saxon: Striekzwevel
match in Japanese: マッチ
match in Norwegian: Fyrstikk
match in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fyrstikk
match in Low German: Rietsticken
match in Polish: Zapałka
match in Portuguese: Palito de fósforo
match in Romanian: Chibrit
match in Quechua: Ninachaq
match in Russian: Спичка
match in Sicilian: Cirinu
match in Simple English: Safety match
match in Slovak: Zápalka (palička)
match in Slovenian: Vžigalica
match in Finnish: Tulitikku
match in Swedish: Tändsticka
match in Tamil: தீக்குச்சி
match in Telugu: అగ్గిపుల్ల
match in Thai: ไม้ขีดไฟ
match in Tajik: Гӯгирд
match in Turkish: Kibrit
match in Ukrainian: Сірники
match in Samogitian: Sierčiks
match in Chinese: 火柴

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Congreve, Congreve match, Olympic games, Olympics, a world-without-end bargain, accompany, accord, accumulate, adjust, admit of comparison, adversary, affiliation, agglomerate, aggregate, aggroup, agree, align, alliance, amass, amount to, analogize, analogue, answer to, antagonist, anti, ape, appear like, approach, approximate, arrange a match, assemble, assent, assimilate, assort with, balance, batch, be commensurable, be comparable, be consistent, be in phase, be in time, be like, be of one, be parallel, be redolent of, be uniform with, bear resemblance, bed, betrothal, blend, bond of matrimony, both, bout, brace, bracket, break even, bridebed, bring into analogy, bring into comparison, bring to mind, bring together, bulk, bump heads, bunch, bunch together, bunch up, ca, call to mind, call up, candidate, candle, check, chime, clump, cluster, coequal, coexist, coextend, cohabitation, cohere, coincide, collect, colligate, collimate, collineate, collocate, combination, combine, come close, come near, come to, come up to, compact, companion, compare, compare and contrast, compare to, compare with, compeer, compete with, competition, compile, complement, con, concours, concur, conform, conform with, confront, conglomerate, conjoin, conjugal bond, conjugal knot, conjugate, consist with, contemporize, contend, contest, contract, contrapose, contraposit, contrast, cooperate, coordinate, copy, corral, correlate, correspond, correspond to, correspondent, counter, counteract, counterfeit, counterpart, counterpose, couple, couple up, couplet, coverture, cumulate, dead ringer, decathlon, derby, dig up, distich, ditto, double, double harness, double-harness, double-header, double-team, doubles, doublet, dovetail, draw, draw a comparison, draw a parallel, draw together, dredge up, drive together, duad, duel, duet, duo, duplicate, dyad, effigy, electric light bulb, encounter, engagement, enlarge, equal, equate, equidistance, equipollent, equivalent, even, even off, event, evoke, exact likeness, face, facsimile, fall in together, favor, fellow, fight, fire, fit, fit together, flame, follow, foursome, friction match, front, fusee, game, games, games of chance, gather, gather in, gather together, gauge, get in, get together, give away, give in kind, glim, go, go alongside, go beside, go together, go with, grade, graduate, group, gymkhana, hang together, harmonize, hit, hitch, hold together, holy matrimony, holy wedlock, husbandhood, icon, idol, ill-assorted marriage, illuminant, illuminator, image, imitate, incandescent body, interlock, intermarriage, interracial marriage, intersect, isochronize, jibe, join, join together, joust, juxtapose, keep in step, keep pace with, knot, lamp, lantern, lex talionis, lie opposite, light, light bulb, light source, like, liken, liken to, likeness, line up, link, living image, living picture, lock, locofoco, look like, lucifer, luminant, luminary, lump together, make a match, make one, make up, marriage, marriage bed, marriage sacrament, marry, mass, match up with, matching, mate, mates, matrimonial union, matrimony, measure, measure against, measure up, measure up to, meet, meet head-on, meeting, mesalliance, metaphorize, mimic, miniature, mirror, mirroring, misalliance, miscegenation, mixed marriage, mobilize, model, moon, muster, near, nearly reproduce, not compare with, not tell apart, nuptial, nuptial bond, oppose, opposer, opposite number, oppugnant, overlap, pair, pair off, paragon, parallel, parallelize, partake of, partner, partnership, peer, pentathlon, photograph, picture, pit, place against, place parallel to, play, play-off, polarize, portrait, pose against, proportion, prospect, put in opposition, put together, race, raise, rake up, rally, range, rank, reach, realign, reciprocal, reflection, register, register with, relate, remind one of, rencontre, repay in kind, replica, resemblance, resemble, respond to, return the compliment, return the like, rival, rivalry, round up, rubbing, run a comparison, run abreast, run parallel, run to, runoff, sacrament of matrimony, safety match, savor of, scrape together, seem like, semblance, set in contrast, set in opposition, set of two, set off against, set over against, shadow, similitude, similize, simulacrum, simulate, sing in chorus, singles, size, smack of, sort, sort with, sound like, source of light, span, spit and image, spitting image, splice, sport, spousehood, square, square with, stack up, stack up with, stand opposed, stand opposite, stand together, stars, subtend, suggest, suit, sun, supplement, synchronize, take after, take up, tally, taper, team, team up, test, the two, threesome, tie, tilt, time, torch, touch, tournament, tourney, trace, tracing, trial, twain, twin, two, twosome, union, unite, unite in marriage, very image, very picture, vesta, vesuvian, vie, vie with, view together, wed, wedded bliss, wedded state, weddedness, wedding knot, wedlock, weigh, weigh against, whip in, wifehood, yoke
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