mat

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doormat

Someone who meekly submits to mistreatment or humiliation by others. Jim had been a doormat his whole life until he went to that motivational speaker five years ago; now, he's one of the most respected men in the business.

roll out the welcome mat (for someone)

To welcome someone with a warm or elaborate display of friendliness and hospitality. My auntie always rolls out the welcome mat whenever we call around for a visit. The principal likes to roll out the welcome mat for new teachers every autumn, so they can start off the school year on a positive note.
See also: mat, out, roll, welcome

put out the welcome mat (for someone)

To welcome someone with a warm or elaborate display of friendliness and hospitality. My auntie always puts out the welcome mat whenever we call around for a visit. The principal likes to put out the welcome mat for new teachers every autumn, so they can start of the school year on a positive note.
See also: mat, out, put, welcome

brush (something) under the mat

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to brush his former drug use under the mat. You need to stop brushing your problems under the mat. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: brush, mat

sweep (something) under the mat

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the mat. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the mat. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: mat, sweep

go to the mat for (someone or something)

To give someone or something one's full support; to fight for someone or something until the very end. We firmly believe that she is in the right on this matter, and we're ready to go to the mat for her in court if necessary. Many members of the party have said that they'll go to the mat for this bill.
See also: mat

lay out the welcome mat (for someone)

To welcome someone with a warm or elaborate display of friendliness and hospitality. My auntie always lays out the welcome mat whenever we call around for a visit. The principal likes to lay out the welcome mat for new teachers every autumn, so they can start off the school year on a positive note.
See also: lay, mat, out, welcome

on the mat

1. Facing rebuke from someone. When my team lost that big client, the boss called me on the mat.
2. Under discussion or consideration. We don't have time to discuss those issues, but don't worry, they'll be on the mat the next time we meet.
See also: mat, on

take (someone) to the mat

To confront or argue with someone (about some issue). An allusion to the sport of wrestling, in which competitors try to grapple each other onto a mat to make them submit. The senator took the president to the mat about the tax plan's negative impact on working-class citizens.
See also: mat, take

go to the mat

Fight until one side or another is victorious, as in The governor said he'd go to the mat for this bill. This term comes from wrestling and evokes the holding of an opponent when both contestants are down on the mat, the padded floor-covering used in matches. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
See also: mat

welcome mat

A friendly welcome, as in They put out the welcome mat for all new members. This expression alludes to a doormat with the word "Welcome" printed on it. [Mid-1900]
See also: mat, welcome

go to the mat

mainly AMERICAN
If someone goes to the mat, they fight very fiercely about something. Erickson said he will go to the mat to save parks in the city. This was a cause that Greens, Socialists and a majority of Liberals were willing to go to the mat for. Note: This expression refers to a wrestler who fights fiercely and is willing to risk a fall.
See also: mat

go to the mat

vigorously engage in an argument or dispute, typically on behalf of a particular person or cause.
The mat referred to is the thick mat in a gym on which wrestling is practised.
1924 P. G. Wodehouse Leave it to Psmith I…heard…you and Aunt Constance going to the mat about poor old Phyllis.
See also: mat

on the mat

being reprimanded by someone in authority. informal
This idiom is a military reference: the orderly room mat was where a soldier accused of some misdemeanour would stand before the commanding officer.
See also: mat, on

go to the ˈmat (with somebody) (for somebody/something)

(American English, informal) support or defend somebody/something in an argument with somebody: We went to the mat for him because he’d helped us in the past.
See also: mat

take somebody/something to the ˈmat

(American English, informal) to get involved in an argument with somebody/something: He took them to the mat on that issue.
Both of these idioms come from the sport of wrestling, in which two people fight by holding each other and trying to force the other person to the ground or mat.
See also: mat, somebody, something, take

lay, put, roll, etc. out the ˈwelcome mat (for somebody)

(especially American English) make somebody feel welcome; try to attract visitors, etc: The country has put out the welcome mat for international investors.
See also: mat, out, welcome

doormat

n. a weak-willed person who is abused by others. Why do people treat me like a doormat?