ma·​te·​ri·​al·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˌtir-ē-ˈa-lə-tē How to pronounce materiality (audio) \
plural materialities

Definition of materiality

1 : the quality or state of being material
2 : something that is material

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Synonyms & Antonyms for materiality


actuality, case, fact, reality


fantasy (also phantasy), fiction, illusion

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Examples of materiality in a Sentence

preferred a single materiality to a slew of hypotheticals the materiality of that fact is not in dispute

Recent Examples on the Web

The intense materiality of the pieces never recedes. Leah Ollman,, "Ruby Neri sculpts flamboyant, fearless, nakedly female figures," 7 June 2019 There is an emphasis on texture and materiality that is hard to find elsewhere, and many artisans have extremely limited production runs that make each plate all the more exclusive. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Highlights From a Michelin-Starred Restaurant’s Extraordinary Plate Collection," 24 Sep. 2018 Such intimate materiality is now a cause for nostalgia. Leah Ollman,, "How one artist turns old snapshots into poetic ‘Untold Stories’," 9 July 2019 All reality was mechanically measured by its materiality. Lisa Appignanesi, The New York Review of Books, "Berger’s Ways of Being," 9 May 2019 An Amazon spokesman declined to comment on questions surrounding materiality. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Amazon May Still See Benefits From Failed New York Courting Process," 15 Feb. 2019 Just as Andy furiously silk-screened, taped, filmed, and collected, editing his reality and keeping the world at bay, we scroll, swipe, and recharge ad infinitum, and reality becomes ever more dissociated from materiality. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "1968 vs. 2018: 50 Years Later Fashion Is Still Playing With the Bohemian Rhapsody of the Late, Tumultuous ’60s," 14 Dec. 2018 This serene house in Coogee, Australia is a beautiful example of how materiality can replace color. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Airy Australian house is indoor-outdoor living at its best," 28 Aug. 2018 The floors are a combination of western oak and travertine, which gives the house a sense of layered materiality. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Brick-and-wood midcentury gem asks $625K," 17 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'materiality.' 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 materiality

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for materiality

Last Updated

25 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for materiality

The first known use of materiality was in 1570

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Comments on materiality

What made you want to look up materiality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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