matter

1 of 2

noun

mat·​ter ˈma-tər How to pronounce matter (audio)
1
a
: 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?
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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 entry 1
first-class matter
7
Christian Science : the illusion that the objects perceived by the physical senses have the reality of substance

matter

2 of 2

verb

mattered; mattering; matters

intransitive verb

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

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!”
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The matter was scheduled for a status conference Aug. 16. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2024 However, the matter was postponed, and the case wasn’t brought before the grand jury until two months later, in mid-January. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for matter 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'matter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near matter

Cite this Entry

“Matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matter. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

matter

1 of 2 noun
mat·​ter ˈmat-ər How to pronounce matter (audio)
1
a
: a subject of interest or concern
a matter of dispute
b
: something to be dealt with : affair
personal matters to take care of
2
a
: the substance of which a physical object is composed
especially : the material substance that occupies space, has mass, and makes up the observable universe
b
: material substance of a particular kind or function
vegetable matter
c
: pus
3
: a more or less definite amount or quantity
cooks in a matter of minutes
4
: something written or printed
5
: mail entry 1 sense 1
first-class matter

matter

2 of 2 verb
: to be of importance : signify

Medical Definition

matter

noun
mat·​ter ˈmat-ər How to pronounce matter (audio)
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

Legal Definition

matter

noun
mat·​ter
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
: matter sense 1

called also matter in dispute

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on matter

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