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

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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

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 On a more personal level, Pluto's retrograde may give us an opportunity to free ourselves from unhealthy dependencies on the material world. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Pluto Is In Retrograde, & It’s Time To Reflect," 24 Apr. 2020 New friends or groups could upgrade your social life in October, and November is a good month to focus on getting ahead with your career or in the material world. oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 11, 2020: Gemini, don’t take the first offer; Aquarius, make the first move," 11 Apr. 2020 Hopefully, some Americans are developing a consciousness amid this crisis that workers deserve more material support from the companies that employ them and a government that ostensibly represents them. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus Recession Is a Critical Test for the Labor Movement," 9 Apr. 2020 While prayer and spirituality aren’t typically associated with the distracting, material world of technology, religious leaders for nearly a century have been using it to connect with more worshippers. NBC News, "The Catholic rosary got a digital upgrade — but it's a mixed blessing," 31 Dec. 2019 His interest in painting was only an extension of his deeper interest in the material world. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "Not every Leonardo is in the huge Louvre exhibition. What’s there, though, is brilliant.," 18 Oct. 2019 Wright became fixated with humanity’s affinity toward material things and whether happiness can be bought. Washington Post, "How The Sims navigated 20 years of change to become one of the most successful franchises ever," 4 Feb. 2020 The eldest prince of Ayodhya, considered an avatar of lord Vishnu, is beloved for reasons beyond material facts and perhaps even beyond his nobility. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Ram: The gentle, tragic prince who became the face of aggressive Hindu nationalism," 9 Nov. 2019 Incarcerated people People in prisons are one of the populations hit hardest by the pandemic, with incarcerated people lacking hand sanitizer, soap, and overall financial or material help. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Where To Donate Your Stimulus Check, If You Are Able To," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its materials are bell tones, endlessly sustained string-like and clarinet-like notes, a shivery undercurrent and elusive, flitting pockets of echo. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Brian Eno’s 15 Essential Ambient Works," 29 Apr. 2020 Under the President’s guidelines, the states compete not only with each other, but also with private businesses to acquire personal protective equipment, tests and testing equipment, cleansing materials, and other needs. W. Bowman Cutter, Fortune, "To reopen the economy, there are 5 guidelines we need to follow," 28 Apr. 2020 The Dasher is made from sustainable materials, including sugarcane, eucalyptus, and superfine merino wool. Madeline Diamond, Travel + Leisure, "I Tried Allbirds’ New Running Shoes — and They’re My Favorite Addition to My At-home Workouts," 28 Apr. 2020 The Detroit Public Schools Community District is spending an additional $3 million on food distribution in addition to the $3.2 million for take-home materials, spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson said. John Wisely, Detroit Free Press, "Schools spending millions to deal with coronavirus," 27 Apr. 2020 Employers must require regular hand-washing, reduce sharing of work materials, limit travel, stagger the arrival of employees and guests, frequently disinfect work stations and daily disinfect common areas. cleveland, "Here’s how Gov. Mike DeWine plans to reopen Ohio amid the coronavirus pandemic," 27 Apr. 2020 The global shortage of the appropriate amount of PPE materials, such as N95 masks, for healthcare workers has amplified the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Keyaira Boone, Essence, "'Shark Tank's' Daymond John Denies He Inflated Prices Of N95 Masks Amid Pandemic," 24 Apr. 2020 There’s just so much material and, hopefully, so much room to run and run for seasons. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Penny Dreadful star Natalie Dormer on how Magda feeds 'the darker side of men's souls'," 24 Apr. 2020 For coronavirus, one hope is that using messenger RNA -- the genetic material that directs cells to produce something -- will offer the quickest and safest path. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "He signed up for a coronavirus vaccine trial using a method that's never been used in humans. Here's why.," 24 Apr. 2020

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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Material.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/material. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for material

material

adjective
How to pronounce material (audio)

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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