material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : relating to, derived from, or consisting of matter especially : physical the material world
(2) : bodily material needs
b(1) : of or relating to matter rather than form material cause the material aspect of being
(2) : of or relating to the subject matter of reasoning especially : empirical material knowledge
2 : having real importance or great consequences facts material to the investigation
3a : being of a physical or worldly nature a grossly material form of love
b : relating to or concerned with physical rather than spiritual or intellectual things material progress provide material assistance

material

noun

Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : the elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made
(2) : matter that has qualities which give it individuality and by which it may be categorized sticky material explosive materials
b(1) : something (such as data) that may be worked into a more finished form material for a biography
(2) : something used for or made the object of study material for the next semester
(3) : a performer's repertoire a comedian's material
d : cloth
e : a person potentially suited to some pursuit varsity material leadership material
2a : apparatus necessary for doing or making something writing materials
b : matériel

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Other Words from material

Adjective

materially \ mə-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce materially (audio) \ adverb
materialness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for material

Synonyms: Adjective

concrete, physical, substantial

Synonyms: Noun

making, raw material, stuff, substance, timber

Antonyms: Adjective

immaterial, nonmaterial, nonphysical

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Choose the Right Synonym for material

Adjective

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping. material values physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary. the physical benefits of exercise corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force. artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction. scientists concerned with the phenomenal world sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses. the earth's rotation is not sensible to us objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it. no objective evidence of damage

synonyms see in addition relevant

Examples of material in a Sentence

Adjective

He is concerned only with his own material comforts. The researchers included all data that was material.

Noun

paper, plastic, or other materials She was never without reading material. The curtains required yards of expensive material.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The tiny home movement is being driven by people who are more interested in prioritizing experiences over material goods, Laubach said. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Tiny homes as affordable and alternative housing gain in popularity. Colorado is at forefront of the movement.," 5 July 2019 In November you might be immersed in your job, finances and career, but put the brakes on by December when a focus on material success can block out other essential matters. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for July 4, 2019: Leo, leave the skyrockets to the pros; Scorpio, what goes around, comes around," 4 July 2019 This material ages naturally over time, with a beautiful gray patina. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "What Type of Roofing Material Is Right for Your Home?," 3 July 2019 The popularity of tiny homes, which require buyers to shed many of their material belongings in exchange for a more minimalistic lifestyle, has been on the rise in recent years, and has even inspired a lineup of shows on HGTV. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Home Sweet Tiny House? Amazon Is Selling Tiny Homes for Less Than $20,000," 2 July 2019 Word began to spread online that the thief was demanding a $150,000 ransom to keep the material private. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland.com, "Radiohead’s minidisc release includes version of ‘Lift’ recorded in Cleveland," 14 June 2019 That was really a driving element for the rest of my material choices. Vogue, "In Helsinki, an International Jury Singles Out the Work of MA Student Ines Kalliala," 31 May 2019 To meet their standards, Far West invested in better equipment and more workers at its material recovery facility to reduce contamination. Mary Esch, The Seattle Times, "China’s ban on scrap imports a boon to US recycling plants," 19 May 2019 Connecticut says the other two sites in the sound lack the capacity to handle the full volume of dredged material long term and are much farther away. Ana Radelat, courant.com, "Connecticut, New York in court battle over dumping in Long Island Sound," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Ohio. Mike Rose, cleveland.com, "The Plain Dealer’s front page for July 9, 2019," 9 July 2019 But the recycling industry has complained in recent years that even though metal prices have stayed strong, the value of recycled glass, plastics and other materials is dropping. Don Stacom, courant.com, "As trade war spurs dramatic upheaval in the market for recyclables, Connecticut communities lose hundreds of thousands of dollars," 9 July 2019 The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of AL.com. al, "Alabama Roots: Josh Donaldson joins 200 home run club," 8 July 2019 The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Vogue, "Of Course Poppy’s Couture Adventure Was Atypical," 8 July 2019 But the earthquake hit Trona hard, particularly because the walls of most buildings were not reinforced with steel or other material that could keep them upright or prevent cracking during severe tremors. latimes.com, "The 7.1 earthquake could have been so much worse. Here’s why," 8 July 2019 The country's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, said Alek Sigley provided photos and other materials to news outlets with critical views toward the North, which the agency said infringed on the country's sovereignty. NBC News, "North Korea accuses freed Australian student of spying, spreading propaganda," 6 July 2019 Other materials given to CNN by WPI include pictures of Bach wearing gloves and appearing to attach something to a baby's head while it is hooked up to a breathing machine. Rose Shelby, CNN, "American missionary in 'unlawful medical practice' suit after two babies die in Uganda," 3 July 2019 Numerous news releases and other handout materials had to be ripped up and redone overnight. Charlotte W. Craig, Detroit Free Press, "Lee Iacocca dies: Father of Mustang, rescuer of Chrysler was 94," 2 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'material.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of material

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for material

Adjective and Noun

Middle English materiel, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin materialis, from Latin materia matter — more at matter

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Statistics for material

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for material

The first known use of material was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for material

material

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or made of matter
: physical rather than spiritual or intellectual
formal : having real importance

material

noun

English Language Learners Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance from which something is made or can be made
: a substance that has a particular quality
: something used in doing a particular activity

material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Kids Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or made of matter : physical the material world
2 : of or relating to a person's bodily needs or wants Money buys material comforts.
3 : having real importance Those facts aren't material to the case.

Other Words from material

materially adverb

material

noun

Kids Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the elements, substance, or parts of which something is made or can be made We purchased bricks and other building material.
2 : equipment needed for doing something writing materials

material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Legal Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of physical matter
2 : being of real importance or consequence
3 : being an essential component the material terms of the contract
4 : being relevant to a subject under consideration specifically : being such as would affect or be taken into consideration by a reasonable person in acting or making a decision — see also insider trading

Other Words from material

materiality \ mə-​ˌtir-​ē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce materiality (audio) \ noun
materially adverb

material

noun

Legal Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

: something used for or made the object of consideration or study specifically : evidence — see also brady material

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Comments on material

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