Origin: OF. Materas, F. Matelas, LL. Matratium; cf. Sp. & Pg. Almadraque, Pr. Almatrac; all from Ar. Ma
1. A quilted bed; a bed stuffed with hair, moss, or other suitable material, and quilted or otherwise fastened.
Alternative forms: matress.
2. (Science: physics) A mass of interwoven brush, poles, etc, to protect a bank from being worn away by currents or waves.