1

material

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

Definition of material

1 a (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
3 a :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

materially

play \-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

materialness

noun

Examples of material in a Sentence

  1. He is concerned only with his own material comforts.

  2. The researchers included all data that was material.

Recent Examples of material from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of material

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

Synonym Discussion of material

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


2

material

noun

Definition of material

1 a (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 3b
d :cloth
e :a person potentially suited to some pursuit
  • varsity material
  • leadership material
2 a :apparatus necessary for doing or making something
  • writing materials

Examples of material in a Sentence

  1. paper, plastic, or other materials

  2. She was never without reading material.

  3. The curtains required yards of expensive material.

Recent Examples of material from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of material

material Synonyms

Other Textiles Terms


MATERIAL Defined for English Language Learners

material

adjective

Definition of material for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or made of matter

  • : physical rather than spiritual or intellectual

  • : having real importance


material

noun

Definition of material for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

material

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

Definition of material for Students

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.

materially

adverb

2

material

noun

Definition of material for Students

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

Law Dictionary

1

material

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

legal Definition of material

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

materiality

play \mə-ˌtir-ē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun

materially

adverb

2

material

noun

legal Definition of material

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


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to conform or adhere

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