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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #3155 - μάτην

accus. of a derivative of the base of (G3145) (through the idea of tentative manipulation, i.e. unsuccessful search, or else of punishment)
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  1. in vain, fruitlessly
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Verse Results
KJV (2)
Matthew 1
Mark 1
NAS (2)
Matthew 1
Mark 1
HCS (2)
Matthew 1
Mark 1
BSB (2)
Matthew 1
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WEB (0)
WEB (2)
Matthew 1
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Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


1. Dor. μάτᾱν [μᾰ], Adv. in vain, h.Cer. 308, Pi. O. 1.83, etc.; μὴ πόνει μ. A. Pr. 44; βλέποντες ἔβλεπον μ. ib. 447; μ. ἐρεῖν ib. 1007; with a Noun, τὸ μ. ἄχθος the fruitless burden, Id. Ag. 165 (lyr.); Διὸς μ. ἄκοιτις his bedfellow to no good end, S. Tr. 1149: as predicate, μ. ὁ μόχθος A. Ch. 521.

2. at random, without reason, οὔ σε μ. τιμῶσι Thgn. 523; ὅρα μὴ μ. κόμπος ὁ λόγος ᾖ Hdt. 7.103, cf. E. Supp. 127; οὐ γὰρ δίκαιον.. τοὺς κακοὺς μ. χρηστοὺς νομίζειν S. OT 609; ἵνα μὴ μ. θαρρήσῃς Pl. Tht. 189d; ὁ νοσῶν μ., i.e. he that is mad, S. Aj. 635 (lyr.), cf. Ar. Pax 95 (anap.).

3. idly, falsely, λέγοντες εἴτ' ἀληθές, εἴτ' ἄρ' οὖν μ. S. Ph. 345; λόγῳ μάτην θνῄσκοντες Id. El. 63, cf. 1298; μ. βέβακεν, of a dream, A. Ag. 423 (lyr.). Originally acc. of μάτη, and we find εἰς μάτην in Luc. Trag. 28,241, Aristid. Or. 33(51).3; ἐπὶ μ. POxy. 530.8 (ii A.D.).

Thayer's Expanded Definition

μάτην (accusative (cf. Winers Grammar, 230 (216); Buttmann, § 131, 12) of μάτη, equivalent to ματία, a futile attempt, folly, fault), adverb, from Pindar, Aeschylus down, in vain, fruitlessly: Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7, after Isaiah 29:13 the Sept..

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament


(prop. acc of μάτη , a fault, folly), adv.,

[in LXX for H1891, H7723, etc.;]

in vain, to no purpose: Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:7 (LXX).†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

For this adverb, ";in vain,"; ";to no purpose,"; cf. the illiterate P Amh II. 130.5 (A.D. 70) ἐξλῆθα (l. ἐξῆλθα ?) εὑρὼν ἓκξ (ἓξ) ἑπτὰ μάτιαν πολούτων (l. μάτην πωλοῦντας), ";I came away after finding six or seven offering in vain to sell (some barley)"; (Edd.), and P Oxy XII. 1417.22 (early iv/A.D.) μάτη ̣ν ̣ οὖν θέλω διὰ σοῦ τοῦ στρατηγοῦ, and for the interesting phrase ἐπὶ μάτην cf. ib. III. 530.8 (ii/A.D.) ἐπὶ μάτ ̣η ̣[ν ] δὲ τῶι τοῦ Παυσιρίωνος τοσοῦτον χρόνον προσκαπτερ [, ";and that I have so long been engaged with Pausirion’s business to no purpose"; (Edd.). Εἰς μάτην is similarly used by Lucian (Trag. 28, 241).


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
ματην μάτην maten matēn máten mátēn