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

c : matter sense 3b

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

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

Responding to the motion for the deposition, the defense argued that Fouts' testimony is neither relevant nor material to Howlett's allegations. Bryce Airgood, Detroit Free Press, "Judge rules Warren mayor Fouts can be questioned regarding racial issues," 12 June 2018 Experiences are more valuable than material things. Robert Cocuzzo, Town & Country, "30 Lessons I've Learned, In Honor of My 30th Birthday," 22 May 2016 Still, analysts say the closure wouldn’t represent a material step toward full denuclearization. Washington Post, "SKorean military says NKorea preparing nuke site closure," 15 May 2018 But analysts say the plan doesn't represent a material step toward full denuclearization. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Trump thanks North Korea for plan to dismantle nuke site," 13 May 2018 Griesey: Two things that separate me from my opponents is my lifelong belief in a more peaceful tomorrow, and my desire to overcome the injustices of this material world. Dave Bangert, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Primary 2018: 4th District candidates discuss Trump, other priorities in Q&A," 4 May 2018 Some astronomers report a rush of spiritual feeling that conjures planes of existence distinct from the material world. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, "‘Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine’ Review: A Longing for Truth and Meaning," 6 Apr. 2018 But software sales aren’t a material part of its business, according to Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon. Ted Greenwald, WSJ, "Broadcom to Buy CA Technologies for $18.9 Billion," 11 July 2018 These jets, whose material moves at nearly the speed of light, could help astronomers better understand the long-ago era when the universe's first stars formed and began clumping together, researchers said. Fox News, "Superbright quasar could shed light on universe's youth," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Under those standards, the fire department should have planned for a hazardous materials emergency at the fertilizer plant, but hadn’t done so. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 Reusable straws in materials like bamboo, silicone, glass, and metal are on the rise, and many are sold with a brush to clean them in-between uses. Alice Bell, Vogue, "11 Stylish, Sustainable Straws to Help You Cut Down on Single-Use Plastic," 13 July 2018 If an x-ray sensitive film or sensor is placed on one side and x-rays are emitted on the other, dense material like bone that blocks the x-rays will appear white on the film, while soft tissue appears in shades of gray and air appears black. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Check Out These Awesome New 3D, Full-Color X-Rays," 13 July 2018 Tariffs imposed recently by the Trump administration on some of the country’s biggest trading partners are driving up the prices of lumber, steel, aluminum, and other building materials. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Tariffs are making it more expensive to build in Boston — and that could push rents even higher," 12 July 2018 Assets tied to China have been hit particularly hard since the country accounts for roughly 50% of global demand for copper and other materials, and some investors fear a trade war would affect China more than other countries. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Copper Rebounds After Long Slump," 12 July 2018 But almost everything that businesses make—from phone cases to propellers to drills—lies between these bookends of tchotchkes and jet-engines, and is often made of metal or composites of metals and other materials. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 Mesa has paid more than $2 million to Vulcan for asphalt and other materials for infrastructure in the past four years, according to the city. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 The company did not include in its announcement any plans to replace the products with other sustainable materials. 8. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "These 8 Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws. Here’s How They Are Replacing Them," 11 July 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

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

Noun

see material entry 1

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Statistics for material

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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

: 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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