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 material (audio) \ adverb
materialness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for material

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Their relationship wasn’t about material things, McNott said. Washington Post, "A psychiatric patient wanted to talk about God. A stranger started a conversation that lasted 14 years.," 27 Mar. 2021 The material effect of policy decisions on Palantir’s bottom line is hard to quantify. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Palantir’s Eye-Popping Rally," 25 Nov. 2020 The three-dimensional flourish seems apt in a show with such a strong, if playful, sense of the material world. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Artists sport their chops with prints on the cutting edge," 19 Mar. 2021 The global spread of Coronavirus has so far not had any material impact on Novocure’s business, and the company has, in fact, reported a strong 39% revenue growth for the nine-month period ending September 2020. Trefis Team, Forbes, "Novocure Stock Likely To Slide Further After Delays In Clinical Studies?," 1 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, the company declined to give a substantive 2021 outlook, except to say that the impact of Covid-19 would continue to be material to its results. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Marriott Bets on the ‘Bleisure’ Lifestyle," 22 Feb. 2021 Beyond the religious sphere of the immaterial world, physicists believe that there might be infinite things in the material world as well. Alan Lightman, The Atlantic, "‘It Seems That I Know How the Universe Originated’," 8 Feb. 2021 But more tantalizing is the idea that the object served as a vanitas object that represented the passage of time and the transience of the material world. Town & Country, "Sotheby’s is Selling the Ultimate Renaissance Painting," 21 Jan. 2021 As to whether such processes can apply to the material world at large—for instance, to atoms outside a quantum lab—Kumar is undecided, in large part because of how carefully specific the study’s conditions were. Eleni Petrakou, Scientific American, "New Views of Quantum Jumps Challenge Core Tenets of Physics," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Every legislative minute spent on mindless symbolism is a minute not spent on policy with actual, material consequences. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Case for More Canceling," 9 Apr. 2021 Those shortages and rising material costs continue to hinder builders. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "Biden Seeks to Ease Housing Shortage With Looser Zoning Rules," 7 Apr. 2021 Innovation can, in principle, continue indefinitely; expanding material consumption cannot. Mark A. Young, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: In truth, overpopulation is blighting human lives," 7 Apr. 2021 While Revenues rose by 22% sequentially to RMB 4.53 billion (about $667 million), gross margins expanded by about 480 basis points to 12.9% driven by lower material cost and better manufacturing efficiency. Trefis Team, Forbes, "Do Strong March Deliveries, Recent Correction Make Nio, Li Auto & Xpeng Stocks A Buy?," 6 Apr. 2021 Benjamin Alan Carpenter, who also uses the name Abu Hamza, was arrested last week on a federal charge of attempting to provide material support and resources to the terror group. Jamie Satterfield, USA TODAY, "Tennessee man accused of being 'pro-ISIS' media representative for terrorists," 6 Apr. 2021 Carpenter was charged in a federal indictment with attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS. NBC News, "Tennessee man accused of helping Islamic State group," 6 Apr. 2021 Pinto’s bill also aimed to extend protection from rent increases for tenants who have suffered material hardship from the pandemic for a year past the eventual end of the public health emergency. Washington Post, "D.C. Council votes to allow landlords to evict dangerous tenants," 6 Apr. 2021 And the material properties of the bristles and the design of the brushes ensure optimum dissipation of any electrostatic charge, while also preventing new static formation during cleaning. Robert Ross, Robb Report, "Review: You Might Not Be a True Audiophile Without the State-of-the-Art Ramar Record Brush," 2 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for material

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for material

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Material.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/material. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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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 material (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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