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MATRIX, a word of somewhat wide application, chiefly used in the sense of a bed or enclosing mass in which something is shaped or formed (Late Lat. matrix, womb; in classical Latin matrix was only applied to an animal kept for breeding). Matrix is thus used of a mould of metal or other substance in which a design or pattern is made in intaglio, and from which an impression in relief is taken. In die-sinking and coining, the matrix is the hardened steel mould from which the die-punches are taken. The term " seal " should strictly be applied to the impression only on wax of the design of the matrix, but is often used both of the matrix and of the impression (see SEALS). In mineralogy, the matrix is the mass in which a crystal mineral or fossil is embedded. In mathematics, the name " matrix " is used of an arrangement of numbers or symbols in a rectangular or square figure. (See ALGEBRAIC FORMS.)

In med. Latin matrix and the diminutive matricula had the meaning of a roll or register, particularly one containing the names of the members of an institution, as of the clergy belonging to a cathedral, collegiate or other church, or of the members of a university. From this use is derived " matriculation," the admission to membership of a university, also the name of the examination for such admission. Matricula was also the name of the contributions in men and money made by the various states of the Holy Roman Empire, and in the modern German Empire the contributions made by the federal states to the imperial finances are called Matrikularbeitrdge, matricular contributions. (See GERMANY : Finance.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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