ma·​te·​ri·​al·​i·​ty | \ mə-ˌtir-ē-ˈa-lə-tē \
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 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 This is a small, quiet show that potently traverses realms of materiality and immateriality, connecting ideas about what’s seen and unseen, and what’s in-between. Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times, "‘The Veil’ exhibition at Bridge Productions spans ideas of what’s seen and unseen," 7 Aug. 2018 The film's details may be obscure, but the materiality of the images is palpable and the emotional content unmistakable. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "L’Enfant Secret is so intimate it feels like a confession," 25 May 2018 The artist imagines a space where everything loses its materiality. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Carlos Cruz-Diez lights up the Cistern with immersive exhibit," 11 Apr. 2018 That said, the materiality of the protectionism depends on the size of the—and extent of the protection, right? WSJ, "Transcript: WSJ Interview With Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic," 30 Mar. 2018 Grief, memory, and materiality are intrinsically intertwined. Luisa Rollenhagen, The Cut, "The Complicated Grief That Comes After a Burglary," 21 Mar. 2018 The materiality of Kennerly’s piece is eye-catching. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, "Dogpatch’s jumble of styles suits once-industrial neighborhood just fine," 19 Jan. 2018 Unlike the digital, streaming media that would eventually replace it, VHS insisted on its own materiality. Jacob Brogan, Slate Magazine, "The Horror of Sadness," 9 Mar. 2017

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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Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for materiality

The first known use of materiality was in 1570

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