material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl \

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 \ -​ē-​ə-​lē \ 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

Beyond material type, choose from a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Tile Countertops: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Should Know," 31 Jan. 2019 Porc-Epic, Ethiopia: The largest collection of ochre pieces ever found, weighing nearly 90 pounds in total, includes a variety of tools to process and use the material 40,000 years ago. 6. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Pigment of Our Imagination," 23 Mar. 2018 Of course, for corporate titans who crave unforgettable sensory encounters with the material world, money is not really a concern. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "The Experience Wars: Inside the Furious Fight for the Affections (and Dollars) of the World's Biggest Spenders," 20 Sep. 2018 Eventually, Ayalla hopes to start his own label, though his dreams go further than the material world. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Israeli-Ethiopian Instagram Heartthrob Andebet Ayalla Is Breaking Local Modeling Boundaries," 5 Sep. 2018 The message was not clear but there was a suggestion of a disregard for the material world. Washington Post, "Armani rejects overdone emotion, Ferragamo favors color," 24 Feb. 2018 Amazon said NDAs are a standard practice to protect material information that might be shared with other parties during site selection. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "After Amazon HQ2, Some Lawmakers Question Nondisclosure Requirements," 26 Nov. 2018 These findings concur with Eventbrite’s highly cited poll, which found that 72 percent of millennials would rather spend money in experiences than material things. Fox News, "'Ego travel' is the newest millennial fad agitating the travel industry," 2 Oct. 2018 French help included sending naval and ground forces to bolster the colonial rebels, and also material support—including warships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Shipwreck of One of America’s First Warships Was Just Found," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mosaics can also make up the material for countertops. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Tile Countertops: Pros, Cons, and Everything Else You Should Know," 31 Jan. 2019 When the planets first formed 4.5 billion years ago, the materials in the Kuiper Belt region didn’t join together to form new worlds but instead remained as tiny fragments. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 But the quantity of material in the comet’s tail is not stable. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A comet is coming unusually close to Earth this weekend. Here’s how to watch.," 15 Dec. 2018 The function-first origins of these high-performance materials stem from the normcore crowd. Mackenzie Wagoner, Glamour, "How Athleisure Evolved Into Fashion's Obsession With All Things Outdoors," 20 Nov. 2018 The collection is available in a range of three materials in Dell’Acqua's go-to pink and black, as well as Tod’s signature brown leather. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tod’s Is Launching Their First Factory Capsule Collection with Alessandro Dell’Acqua," 19 Nov. 2018 My only wish, which comes late at night, is for more sound-deadening material in the walls. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "I Rented an RV and It Worked Out Great," 16 Nov. 2018 If women don't have extra cash available, Skvarla and Lauren will put down a deposit or pay for the order in full so the cost of materials isn't a burden. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla's Little Market is Empowering Women Around the World," 14 Nov. 2018 Until recently, outside device makers had to include a physical Apple chip in their products that significantly drove up the material costs. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018

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

7 Feb 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 \

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 \

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 \ 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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