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In general, a matrix (plural matrices) is something that provides support or structure, especially in the sense of surrounding and/or shaping. It comes from the Latin word for "womb", which itself derived from the Latin word for "mother", which is mater. Various disciplines use the term "matrix" with differing meanings.

"A 'duplicate' is a counterpart produced by the same impression as the original, or from the same matrix." (Rule 1001(4))

is a 4-by-3 matrix.

Matrices in the mathematical sense are useful to record data that depend on two categories, such as the sales in three branches of a store in each of the four quarters of a year, or to keep track of the coefficients of linear expressions such as linear transformations and systems of linear equations. The field of mathematics that studies matrices is called matrix theory, a branch of linear algebra. Closely related terms from computing are "two-dimensional array" and "spreadsheet".

We can do addition, multiplication and many different operations on matrices. To learn more, see Matrix (mathematics).

See also the 1999 film The Matrix.