Meaning of “match” in the English Dictionary

"match" in British English

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us uk /mætʃ/

match noun (COMPETITION)

A2 [ C ] mainly UK US usually game a sports competition or event in which two people or teams compete against each other:

a tennis match
a football/cricket match
We won/lost the match.
Liverpool have a match with (= against) Blackburn next week.
the man/woman of the match UK

the person who has scored the most points or played the best in a match

More examples

  • The national anthems of the teams are played at the beginning of a big international football match.
  • We spent the afternoon at a football match.
  • Fans packed the stadium to watch the final match.
  • England has to win tonight's qualifying match to go through to the next round of the competition.
  • Only one goal was scored in the entire match.

match noun (STICK)

B2 [ C ] a short, thin stick made of wood or cardboard and covered with a special chemical at one end that burns when rubbed firmly against a rough surface:

a box of matches
You should always strike a match away from you.
put a match to sth UK

to make something burn

More examples

  • He was fined for dropping a match on the pavement.
  • She lit the fire with a match.

match noun (SUITABLE)

C2 [ S ] something that is similar to or combines well with something else:

The curtains look great - they're a perfect match for the sofa.

[ S ] If two people who are having a relationship are a good match, they are very suitable for each other:

Theirs is a match made in heaven (= a very good relationship).

More examples

  • These shoes are a perfect match for my bag.
  • If you don't buy enough wallpaper, it will be difficult to get a good match later.


us uk /mætʃ/

match verb (EQUAL)

C1 [ T ] to be as good as someone or something else:

It would be difficult to match the service this airline gives its customers.

More examples

  • The government has promised to match the money raised by the charity pound for pound.
  • The severity of the punishment should match the seriousness of the crime.
  • The teams were evenly matched until two quick goals from Robson tipped the balance in favour of England.
  • Do you really think our team has a chance of matching their score?
  • I'd like to match the total amount I raised in last year's marathon, at least.

match verb (LOOK SIMILAR)

B1 [ I or T ] If two colours, designs, or objects match, they are similar or look attractive together:

Do you think these two colours match?
Does this shirt match these trousers?
a sofa with curtains to match

match verb (CHOOSE)

B1 [ T ] to choose someone or something that is suitable for a particular person, activity, or purpose:

In the first exercise you have to match each capital city to its country.

(Definition of “match” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"match" in American English

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us /mætʃ/

match noun (COMPETITION)

[ C ] a sports competition or event in which two people or teams compete against each other:

fig. They got into a shouting/shoving match (= they were arguing or fighting).

match noun (STICK)

[ C ] a short, thin stick of wood or cardboard, covered at one end with a material that will burn when rubbed against a rough surface

matchverb [ I/T ]

us /mætʃ/

match verb [ I/T ] (BE SUITABLE)

to be similar to or the same as something, or to combine well with someone or something else:

[ I ] The shirt and pants match perfectly.
[ T ] Her fingerprints matched the prints that were taken from the crime scene.

match verb [ I/T ] (BE EQUAL)

to be equal to another person or thing in some quality:

[ T ] It would be difficult to match the service this airline gives its customers.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “match” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"match" in Business English

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uk /mætʃ/ us

[ T ] to be equal to another person or thing in quality, amount, or level:

Few people can match his combination of skills.
Results this year may not match last year's.
I'm looking for a job that matches my qualifications and ambitions.

[ I or T ] to be the same as something else, or to be the same as each other:

The program automatically finds websites and news stories that match your interests.
His actions and his words did not match.

[ T ] to find something that is the same as something else, or goes well with it:

match sth against sth Bring a sample of the colour you want to our store, and we will match it against one of our paint colours.
match sth/sb to sth We can help you match the person to the job.

[ T ] to give or offer the same amount of money as has been given, collected, or offered by someone else:

It's hard for small stores to match supermarket prices.
The charity will receive federal money to match the first $250 of each contribution.


uk /mætʃ/ us

[ C ] something that is the same as something else:

I searched for his name in the database but got the message "No match".
find/make a match Detectives found a match with samples taken from the crime scene.
I compared the two signatures, and they were an exact match.

[ S ] a person or thing that is equal to another person or thing in quality or power:

a match for sb/sth The newspaper's new head is certainly a match for the previous editor.
be no match for sth/sb

to be less powerful or effective than someone or something else:

Their computer firewall was no match for the hackers.

(Definition of “match” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)