There are 2 definitions of matai in English:

matai1

Line breaks: matai
Pronunciation: /ˈmatʌɪ
 
/

noun (plural matais)

  • A coniferous New Zealand tree which yields pale timber.
    • Prumnopitys taxifolia, family Podocarpaceae
    More example sentences
    • The lush branches of the totara, matai and kahikatea trees blocked out all remaining light and I was left alone in a dark, unfamiliar forest.
    • It's mainly heart rimu, with a matai floor and a totara frontage.
    • Trees in the bush include kahikitea, rimu, thin-barked totara, matai and miro.

Origin

mid 19th century: from Maori.

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Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space

There are 2 definitions of matai in English:

matai2

Line breaks: matai
Pronunciation: /ˈmatʌɪ
 
/

noun (plural same)

  • (In a Samoan extended family or clan) the person who is chosen to succeed to a chief’s or orator’s title and honoured as the head of the family: the chairs were used only by the pastor and visiting matai
    More example sentences
    • Before the arrival of missionaries in 1830, Tagaloa was recognized as the creator of the islands and their people and matai served as family religious leaders.
    • Resident members live in clusters of households within the village, share some facilities and equipment, and work on family-land controlled by the matai.
    • Actually, a taito's role relates to more than a village; it is not that of a matai.

Origin

Samoan.

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Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space