- The definition of matter is what something is made of, what all physical things are made of, or something important or a problem.
- An example of matter is a dining table made of wood.
- An example of matter is everything we see being made of particles of elements and atoms.
- An example of a matter is an important document that needs to be signed by a certain date.
This table's matter is wood.
- what a thing is made of; constituent substance or material
- what all (material) things are made of; whatever occupies space and is perceptible to the senses in some way: in modern physics, matter and energy are regarded as equivalents, mutually convertible according to Einstein's formula, E = mc (i.e., energy equals mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of light); in dualistic thinking, matter is regarded as the opposite of mind, spirit, etc.
- any specified sort of substance: coloring matter
- material of thought or expression; what is spoken or written, regarded as distinct from how it is spoken or written; content, as distinguished from manner, style, or form
- an amount or quantity, usually indefinite: a matter of a few days
- something that is the subject of discussion, concern, action, etc.; thing or affair: business matters
- cause, occasion, or grounds: no matter for jesting
- the body of heroic stories and legends, as contained in a folk epic, regarded as central to a culture or literature: the King Arthur stories make up the matter of Britain
- an important affair; thing of some moment or significance
- importance; moment; significance: it's of no matter
- an unfavorable state of affairs; trouble; difficulty: with the: something seems to be the matter
- documents, letters, etc. sent, or to be sent, by mail; mail: second-class matter
- a substance discharged by the body; specif., pus
- Law something that is to be proved
- Philos. that which has yet to take on form; undifferentiated substance of reality or experience
- written material prepared, or to be prepared, for printing; copy
- copy ready to be printed
Origin of matterMiddle English matiere ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin materia, material, stuff, wood (; from base of mater, mother), origin, originally , the growing trunk of a tree
- to be of importance or consequence; have significance: the things that matter to one
- to form and discharge pus; suppurate
as a matter of fact
for that matter
- it is of no importance
- regardless of
- That which occupies space and has mass; physical substance.
- A type of such substance: organic matter.
- Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.
- Philosophy In Aristotelian and Scholastic use, that which is in itself undifferentiated and formless and which, as the subject of change and development, receives form and becomes substance.
- The substance of thought or expression as opposed to the manner in which it is stated or conveyed.
- A subject of concern, feeling, or action: matters of foreign policy; a personal matter. See Synonyms at subject.
- Trouble or difficulty: What's the matter with your car?
- An approximated quantity, amount, or extent: The construction will last a matter of years.
- Something printed or otherwise set down in writing: reading matter.
intransitive verbmat·tered, mat·ter·ing, mat·ters
Origin of matterMiddle English, from Old French matere, from Latin māteria, wood, timber, matter, from māter, mother (because the woody part was seen as the source of growth); see māter- in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural matters)
- Substance, material.
- (physics) The basic structural component of the universe. Matter usually has mass and volume.
- (physics) Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles. (Non-antimatter matter).
- A kind of substance.
- vegetable matter
- Written material (especially in books or magazines).
- printed matter; He always took some reading matter with him on the plane.
- (philosophy) Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.
- A condition, subject or affair, especially one of concern.
- What's the matter?; state matters
- An approximate amount or extent.
- I stayed for a matter of months.
(third-person singular simple present matters, present participle mattering, simple past and past participle mattered)
From Middle English mater, matere, from Anglo-Norman matere, materie, from Old French materie, matiere, from Latin materia (“matter, stuff, material”), derivative of Latin mater (“mother”). Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork (“material, matter”) (from Old English andweorc (“matter, substance, material”)), Old English intinga (“matter, affair, business”).
matter - Legal Definition