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The Matroska is an open standard free container format, it contains an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file.
Matroska is not a video or audio compression format (codec), it is an envelope for audio, video and subtitles streams, allowing user to store a complete movie or CD in a single file.
Matroska is similar in conception to other containers like AVI, MP4 or ASF, but is entirely open in specification, with implementations consisting mostly of open source software. Matroska file types are .MKV for video (with subtitles and audio), .MKA for audio-only files and .MKS for subtitles only. The most common use of .MKV files is to store HD video files.
Visit matroska.org site to get more information about Matroska format.
The article is based on materials from matroska.org, wikipedia.org.