matter

noun
mat·​ter | \ ˈma-tər \

Definition of matter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a subject under consideration Several other matters will come before the committee.
b : a subject of disagreement or litigation The matter in dispute is basically trivial.
c matters plural : the events or circumstances of a particular situation planned to discuss matters with her husband soon
d : the subject or substance of a discourse or writing A graceful style was not enough to hide a paucity of matter.
e : something of an indicated kind or having to do with an indicated field or situation this is a serious matter as a matter of policy matters of faith
f : something to be proved in law
g obsolete : sensible or serious material as distinguished from nonsense or drollery
h(1) obsolete : reason, cause
(2) : a source especially of feeling or emotion
i : problem, difficulty What's the matter?
2a : the substance of which a physical object is composed
b : material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy
c : a material substance of a particular kind or for a particular purpose vegetable matter
d(1) : material (such as feces or urine) discharged from the living body
(2) : material discharged by suppuration : pus
3a : the indeterminate subject of reality especially : the element in the universe that undergoes formation and alteration
b : the formless substratum of all things which exists only potentially and upon which form acts to produce realities
4 : a more or less definite amount or quantity cooks in a matter of minutes
5 : something written or printed matter suitable for photocomposition
6 : mail first-class matter
7 Christian Science : the illusion that the objects perceived by the physical senses have the reality of substance
as a matter of fact
: in fact : actually
for that matter
: so far as that is concerned
no matter
: without regard to : irrespective of points in the same direction no matter how it is tilted
no matter what
: regardless of the costs, consequences, or results wants to win, no matter what
the matter
: wrong nothing's the matter with me

matter

verb
mattered; mattering; matters

Definition of matter (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to form or discharge pus : suppurate mattering wound
2 : to be of importance : signify

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Synonyms for matter

Synonyms: Noun

content, motif, motive, question, subject, theme, topic

Synonyms: Verb

count, import, mean, signify, weigh

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Examples of matter in a Sentence

Noun

He has a few personal matters to deal with. Disagreement is one thing, but accusations of lying are a different matter altogether! Can matter and energy be changed into each other?

Verb

It may not matter to you, but it matters a lot to me! “Why are you being so quiet?” “Does it matter?” “Of course it matters!”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In China, Apple has been grappling with excess XR inventory, a person familiar with the matter said. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "The Phone That’s Failing Apple: iPhone XR," 6 Jan. 2019 On Sunday, auto blog Electrek reported that there were more than 3,300 Model 3 vehicles sitting in Tesla's US inventory, according to an unnamed source familiar with the matter. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Report: Tesla has more than 3,300 Model 3s remaining in US inventory," 31 Dec. 2018 According to Entertainment Tonight, the event came together in a matter of days. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship," 27 Dec. 2018 In Cam, Alice is far from disposable, taking matters into her own hands after the police prove to be unhelpful. Carl Kelsch, Marie Claire, "'Cam' Is the Sex-Positive Horror Movie You Have to See," 24 Dec. 2018 Longtime dog lover and parent to the always-on-Instagram Lafitte, Rachel Antonoff is taking matters in to her own hands, too. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The Best Holiday Shopping Benefits Animal Adoption," 8 Dec. 2018 Making matters worse, Frickel explains, is the current system of site investigation and cleanup. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Booming postindustrial neighborhoods often overlook polluted past," 9 Oct. 2018 But on Sunday, NCIS: Los Angeles made matters even worse by revealing the death of Special Agent Harley Hidoko, played by actress Andrea Bordeaux. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS: LA' Fans Are Furious After Finding Out Their Favorite Character Died in the Premiere," 3 Oct. 2018 And if Frank Lloyd Wright’s conservators have any say in the matter, eight of his buildings will soon be on that list, too. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "8 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings nominated to be World Heritage Sites," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Although the order doesn't really matter, Tamir recommends not working on strength two days in a row. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "How Often Should You Work Out? The Perfect Weekly Workout Routine," 1 Jan. 2019 Make sure to buy a pillow with a removable, washable cover if that matters to you. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "7 Best Memory Foam Pillows You Can Buy," 21 Dec. 2018 The competition on The Voice has been narrowed down to the Top 10 and contestants' performances matter now more than ever. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Star Sarah Grace Sparks Controversy with Soulful Cover of 'Amazing Grace'," 4 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, having to methodically choose belongings that truly matter or come to grips with living your days in a space smaller than the average bedroom is enough to turn most away. Taylor Martin, House Beautiful, "What I Learned About Living In A Tiny House," 7 Nov. 2018 But the defeat just proves that having equal representation in office so that people of all backgrounds can introduce and vote on legislation from their personal experience matters more than ever. Sarah Kunst, Marie Claire, "Gretchen Whitmer Is Ready for the Top Job," 7 Nov. 2018 And since the signal would come so close to the snap and be a play designed to exploit an immediate weakness in the defense, deciphering the offense’s signals may not matter. Andy Staples, SI.com, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018 The only reality that matters is the reality that citizens collectively construct. Sean Illing, Vox, "Intellectuals have said democracy is failing for a century. They were wrong.," 20 Dec. 2018 Facebook may have reached more people — 126 million people compared to Instagram’s estimated 20 million — but advertisers will tell you that engagement matters a lot. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Instagram posts from Russian meddlers played a much bigger role in the 2016 election than we thought," 17 Dec. 2018

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for matter

Noun and Verb

Middle English matere, from Anglo-French, from Latin materia matter, physical substance, from mater

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Statistics for matter

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for matter

The first known use of matter was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for matter

matter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of matter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is being done, talked about, or thought about

matters : the situation or subject that is being discussed or dealt with

physics : the thing that forms physical objects and occupies space

matter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of matter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be important

matter

noun
mat·​ter | \ ˈma-tər \

Kids Definition of matter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something to be dealt with or considered We have a serious matter to discuss.
2 : problem sense 2, difficulty What's the matter?
3 : the substance things are made of : something that takes up space and has weight
4 : material substance of a certain kind or function coloring matter plant matter
5 : pus
6 : a small quantity or amount The difference is a matter of ten cents.
as a matter of fact
: actually Hello. As a matter of fact I just called you.
no matter
: without regard to no matter how much she swept, it never looked clean.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
no matter what
: regardless of the costs or consequences

matter

verb
mattered; mattering

Kids Definition of matter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be of importance Money does not matter to me.

matter

noun
mat·​ter | \ ˈmat-ər \

Medical Definition of matter

1 : material (as feces or urine) discharged or for discharge from the living body an obstruction interfering with passage of matter from the intestine
2 : material discharged by suppuration : pus

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matter

noun
mat·​ter

Legal Definition of matter

1 : a subject of consideration, disagreement, or litigation: as
a : a legal case, dispute, or issue a matter within the court's jurisdiction often used in titles of legal proceedings matter of Doe — see also in re
b : one or more facts, claims, or rights examined, disputed, asserted, proven, or determined by legal process
matter in controversy
1 : matter sense 1

called also matter in dispute

2 : the monetary amount involved in a case
matter in issue
: a matter that is in dispute as part or all of a legal issue
matter of fact
: a matter primarily involving proof or evidence rather than a question of law
matter of form
: a matter concerning form or details often of a relatively inessential nature rather than substance a petition invalid because of a matter of form
matter of law
: a matter involving or consisting of the application of law entitled to judgment as a matter of lawNational Law Journal
matter of record
: a matter (as a fact) entered on the record of a court or other official body the security interest was a matter of record
matter of substance
: a matter concerning the merits of a case rather than form or relatively inessential details
2 : written, printed, or postal material obscene matter

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More from Merriam-Webster on matter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with matter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for matter

Spanish Central: Translation of matter

Nglish: Translation of matter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of matter for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about matter

Comments on matter

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