February 28, 2014 - Word of the Day: mate
When two animals, male and female, come together for the purpose of reproduction, they mate. This word can be used as a verb, a noun, and as an adjective.
- These birds mate in the spring. (verb)
- Spring is the mating season. (adjective)
- They're mates. (noun)
The word "mate" can also refer to a person's spouse.
- Pamela is a good mate.
- Jeff tries his best to be a helpful mate.
- He's proven over the years to be a good mate.
Sometimes we use "mate" to refer to one thing that matches another in a pair, such as a pair of gloves, a pair of socks, or any two things that go together.
- Where is the mate for this black sock?
- This glove is missing its mate.
- It's been a real struggle to get these two parts of the company to mate. There are too many personality conflicts.
In England and Australia, the word "mate" is popular when addressing a friend or when trying to appear friendly. In the United States, words such as "dude," "buddy," and "bro" are used instead of "mate."
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