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MATE. The second officer on board of a merchant ship or vessel.
     2. He has the right to sue in the admiralty as a common mariner for wages. 1. Pet. Adm. Dee. 246.
     3. When, on the death of the master, the mate assumes the command, he succeeds to the rights and duties of the principal officer. 1 Sumn. 157; 3 Mason, 161; 4 Mason, 196; See 7 Conn. 239; 4 Mason, 641 4 Wash. C. C. 838.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
everywhere she looked she found evidence of ineffable sadness, the mateless mitten discovered after the winter thaw, the sight of baby grass stirring in a spring breeze, the sound of a child scratching away at a violin, the hum of the wind in an empty parking lot."
For the mateless thirtysomething Nineties woman this is a nirvana.
Surprised and not a little intrigued to find herself mateless in her middle years, she has, in true babyboomer fashion, extrapolated from her own experience a cultural trend, producing a work that aims to provide a group portrait of unattached (at least to a husband or lover) American (mainly middle-class) womanhood at the end of the twentieth century.