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

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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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Chinese companies typically don’t hand over these documents because Beijing deems the material state secrets. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "The U.S. clampdown on Chinese companies is an unexpected windfall for Hong Kong," 26 June 2020 The sentiments have material consequences, as police officers in departments across the country routinely kill Black people with impunity. Erin Corbett, refinery29.com, "Across North Carolina, Police Face Backlash For Racist & Violent Statements," 25 June 2020 In Marx and Engels's view, history is characterized by worldwide material class conflict. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "'This isn't about justice': GOP releases ad targeting Marxist co-founder of Black Lives Matter," 25 June 2020 Together, the two principal characters become fixated on ideas—not as abstractions but as material facts that impact their lives. Tiana Reid, The New York Review of Books, "Searching for Freedom in ‘Cane River’ and the Black Outdoors," 20 June 2020 The pure abstraction and infinite possibilities of online existence still suit and excite me, and returning to material things and the obligations of creaturely existence can feel like a comedown. 1843, "The internet, mon amour," 19 June 2020 As Audrey Tang, Taiwan's digital minister and a veteran of the 2014 Sunflower Movement, said to me, a lot of it boils down to norms—which themselves have been conditioned by material experience. Gideon Lewis-kraus, Wired, "How to Make Government Trustworthy Again," 18 June 2020 Still, economic opportunity matters a great deal, especially in the U.S., where the American Dream links liberty to the promise of material progress. ... William A. Galston, WSJ, "Aftershocks of the ‘Dream Deferred’," 16 June 2020 No further investigation took place, and no material reforms were implemented. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, "The History of the “Riot” Report," 15 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The soft, quick-drying fabric features UPF 50, which will protect your skin from harmful UV rays, along with chlorine-resistant material that will prevent fading. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Size-inclusive swimwear at Lands' End is up to 74% off right now," 26 June 2020 Even bulletproof vests used by Indian soldiers are made with material imported from China. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "After deadly border clash, India faces uncomfortable truths about its reliance on China," 26 June 2020 The company followed up with an even more drastic step, removing tweets that link to the DDoSecrets website, which maintains a searchable database of all of its leaks, and suspending some accounts retroactively for linking to the group's material. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "An Embattled Group of Leakers Picks Up the WikiLeaks Mantle," 26 June 2020 The crackdown by Facebook, which has about 2.6 billion active users, is the latest move by a social media platform to police rule-breaking or otherwise controversial material in their space. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Facebook will label 'newsworthy' content that violates its rules," 26 June 2020 The shield can be easily cleaned or replaced as needed and is made with anti-fog material. Yadi Rodriguez, cleveland, "Need a new face mask for coronavirus protection? Here are some of the best on Amazon," 25 June 2020 Wrapped in an insanely sturdy rack mountable metal chassis and stylish to boot, this preamp-EQ-compressor combo excels on any source and is great for bringing life to otherwise dull-sounding material. Popular Science, "Tube preamps for lush-sounding vocals, guitars, and more," 24 June 2020 Then the modeler begins operations with palette and trowel, daubing the wire netting with the plastic material. Scientific American, "French Firm Sells Cars Made from Plaster," 18 June 2020 When a person infected with SARS-CoV-2 uses the bathroom, their feces — with genetic material from the virus — enters their city’s sewage system, along with the rest of the city’s flushed waste. Jordan Nutting, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Researchers to track COVID-19 outbreaks by monitoring sewage from Wisconsin communities," 18 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for material

Time Traveler

The first known use of material was in the 14th century

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Statistics for material

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Material.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/material. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for material

material

adjective
How to pronounce material (audio)

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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