matter

noun
mat·​ter | \ ˈma-tər How to pronounce matter (audio) \

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

Those individual advisories aren't available until the day after the sample is taken, and conditions can vary wildly in a matter of days. Maddy Lauria, baltimoresun.com, "At Delaware's beaches, scientists test waters for signs of fecal bacteria," 9 June 2019 What many people don't know is that some plants move in a matter of seconds. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "This Plant Moves When You Touch It," 8 June 2019 The semifinal got in and the final was moved to the Valley with the title site switching in a matter of hours from a high school to the NHL Coyotes' venue in Glendale, much to the cheers of the White Mountains Apache Indian Reservation. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Banner year: Arizona high school 2018-19 sports year in review," 8 June 2019 These are involved in a range of matters physiological, but one of the molecules the team is investigating, encoded by a gene called CLTCL1, is concerned with the regulation of blood-sugar levels. The Economist, "Modern humans may be evolving to deal with carbohydrate-rich diets," 7 June 2019 The Facebook ban, by contrast, applies to any Huawei phone that has not yet left the factory, according to a person familiar with the matter. NBC News, "Facebook suspends app pre-installs on Huawei phones," 7 June 2019 Those shows are modified to play different-sized venues, their designs revised so they can be set up in and taken down in a matter of hours. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’: A watery wonderland under the big top making its way to Hartford’s Market Street," 6 June 2019 On Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told the Associated Press that Manafort would soon be transferred to Rikers Island jail while awaiting trial on state fraud charges. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "AOC says Paul Manafort should not be held in solitary confinement at Rikers Island," 5 June 2019 Multiple characters undergo life-altering changes of perspective — flipping from good to evil, sympathetic to monstrous — in a matter of seconds. Nick Romano, EW.com, "'Dark Phoenix' reviews: At least it's better than X-Men: Apocalypse…?," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Best Display of Gratitude: Stephanie J. Block, who won the Tony for best performance by an actress for playing Cher in The Cher Show, knows who matters in life. Time, "2019 Tony Awards Recap: Best, Weirdest and Wildest Moments," 10 June 2019 But that may not matter, Hudak said in an interview, because of Part 2 of this conundrum: States’ plans for the production of hemp must be approved at the federal level. Catharine Hamm, latimes.com, "Can you carry CBD oil on a plane? Maybe. Here's what new TSA rules," 10 June 2019 Washington himself chose to focus on the two things that matter most to him — God and his family — honoring them both extensively in his acceptance speech. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Chadwick Boseman calls Denzel Washington the 'G.O.A.T' and other highlights from his AFI Life Achievement tribute," 7 June 2019 The assistant GMs and scouting directors mumbling names into a speakerphone matters little and less as the draft goes on. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "The Problem With the MLB Draft," 4 June 2019 Further, Boden speculated that cash might matter more to Holzhauer personally. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "James Holzhauer Prompted a Fundamental Question About Jeopardy," 4 June 2019 Certainly, the plaintiffs have convinced many that their case matters. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Kids suing the US over climate change are getting global support," 1 June 2019 Even though Her Majesty gets two birthdays, this is the one that really matters. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Will Meghan Markle Attend Trooping the Colour This Year?," 27 May 2019 The only thing that matters in those first few fevered weeks is making sure the little one is okay. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Putting Your Family First Doesn’t Make You a Better Mom," 14 Jan. 2019

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

13 Jun 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
: 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 How to pronounce matter (audio) \

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 How to pronounce matter (audio) \

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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