im·​ma·​te·​ri·​al ˌi-mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce immaterial (audio)
: of no substantial consequence : unimportant
: not consisting of matter : incorporeal

Examples of immaterial in a Sentence

Whether or not he intended to cause problems is immaterial. The fact that she is a woman is immaterial and irrelevant.
Recent Examples on the Web Or perhaps instead a TOE would spark no major advances at all and would only offer breakthrough insights for realms and regimes so far removed from human experience as to be immaterial to everyone’s everyday lives. Sarah Scoles, Scientific American, 19 Aug. 2023 Today, scientists often draw a similar distinction, albeit between the body and the brain, rather than the immaterial mind. Amanda Gefter, The New Yorker, 31 Aug. 2023 At worst, Cohen argued, the emoji was immaterial puffery. Rob Wile, NBC News, 31 July 2023 Summer league veterans know the on-court play is fairly immaterial — the great performances and big disappointments not exactly predictive of how a prospect will turn out. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2023 In this economy, however, such differences prove immaterial. Guy Lodge, Variety, 6 July 2023 Haun's supporters, however, suggest this is immaterial. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2023 That timing was immaterial until a movie based around a popular doll became inextricably linked with the story of the man instrumental in the creation of a weapon that killed around 200,000 civilians, and in the subsequent decades brought death and sickness to tens of thousands more. Gavin J Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Aug. 2023 The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ordered Mexico to make amends with a series of reparation measures, including payments for material and immaterial damages. Cnne's Bertha Ramos, CNN, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'immaterial.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English immaterial, from Late Latin immaterialis, from Latin in- + Late Latin materialis material

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of immaterial was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near immaterial

Cite this Entry

“Immaterial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​ma·​te·​ri·​al ˌim-ə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce immaterial (audio)
: not consisting of matter
: not important : insignificant

Legal Definition


im·​ma·​te·​ri·​al ˌi-mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce immaterial (audio)
: not essential, pertinent, or of consequence
the jury could have discounted the medical history evidence, or while accepting its accuracy, found it immaterialWillett v. State, 911 S.W.2d 937 (1995)
compare irrelevant
immateriality noun

More from Merriam-Webster on immaterial

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