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 materially (audio) \ 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

But, the judge noted, under Illinois law, a breach must be determined to be of material importance or significance before the party may be legally penalized. Christy Gutowski, chicagotribune.com, "Judge’s ruling means lawsuit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert may go to trial," 11 Sep. 2019 Bishop Juliasse attributed that faith to a lack of distractions from material wealth, allowing Africans to focus on faith. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "In Africa, Pope Francis Comes Face to Face With the Future of the Church," 5 Sep. 2019 New theories about the history of life on Earth cannot be tested unless the scientific community has easy access to the material evidence. Fox News, "The problem with buying dinosaurs," 22 June 2019 If a worker gets a gym reimbursement for working out six times a month, doesn’t that translate to a material punishment for those with physical disabilities, those who are overworked, and those who simply would prefer not to? Lena Solow, The New Republic, "The Scourge of Worker Wellness Programs," 2 Sep. 2019 According to some practitioners, the dead have not only material demands – but also unrealised dreams. 1843, "Vietnam’s ghosts are hungry for iPhones," 22 Aug. 2019 So far, the most explosive information to come out of this new excavation—one that will prompt textbooks to be rewritten and scholars to re-evaluate their dates—has no material value whatsoever. Chiara Goia, Smithsonian, "The New Treasures of Pompeii," 21 Aug. 2019 There's no domestic counterpart to that material support statute, meaning federal prosecutors must rely on hate crime laws, weapons charges and other approaches that may not carry the terrorism label. Stefanie Dazio, Anchorage Daily News, "Shooter’s ‘target list’ prompts domestic terrorism case in attack on California festival," 6 Aug. 2019 There's no domestic counterpart to that material support statute, meaning federal prosecutors must rely on hate crimes laws, weapons charges and other approaches that may not carry the terrorism label. Stefanie Dazio, chicagotribune.com, "FBI opens domestic terrorism investigation of Gilroy Garlic Festival massacre," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kierra Belgrave, Lilly McGuiness, Kirsta Jimenez and Kaitlyn Read each display plenty of stage presence and find the right emotional level for the material. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Show of Force’ gives a different perspective of military life | Review," 17 Sep. 2019 The lawyer has not explained in detail how Whelan obtained the information on the drive but said his client wasn't aware that the Russian government considered the material sensitive. Daria Litvinova, CBS News, "Ex-U.S. Marine detained in Russia on spy charges urges world leaders to intervene," 17 Sep. 2019 Gore-Tex and eVent are popular waterproofing fabrics, but some brands like Oboz have their own propriety materials. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Women's Hiking Boots for Any Outdoor Adventure," 13 Sep. 2019 His massive wall hangings are inspired by Zimbabwean textiles but his materials are drawn from the ravages of modern waste. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Stark domestic scenes by German painter Lenz Geerk," 13 Sep. 2019 But in this case, researchers designed their ceramic material to be heated, on its bottom side, by warm air just above the surface of a rooftop, and to be passively cooled, on its top side, by the sky. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "This new device generates light from the darkness of space," 12 Sep. 2019 With observations of rocky and icy material that formed in other solar systems , astronomers will start to get a sense of what the planets and other celestial bodies orbiting distant stars are made of. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian, "Astronomers Spot a Comet That Likely Came From a Different Solar System," 12 Sep. 2019 Flipping through the abundance of graphic material will make any attentive reader wonder about the context. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "A new book celebrates the graphic design legacy of US national parks," 9 Sep. 2019 To craft looks that conveyed how each character would dress when faced with legal adversity, Travers turned to the film’s source material, and to celebrity news of the recent past. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "How Hustlers Captured the Excesses of Pre-Recession Fashion," 17 Sep. 2019

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

19 Sep 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 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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