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

The Celebrity: Snowboarding Superstar Shaun White The Promposal: After learning that snowboarding pro Shaun White had never been to prom, Philadelphia high schooler Carly Monzo decided to take matters into her own hands. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Epic Celebrity Promposals You Need to See Now," 11 Apr. 2019 At the same time, conservative students thought that treating the matter as an open question was ridiculous. WSJ, "Philosophy Courses Score Low on Diversity Exams," 10 Apr. 2019 Moving charges also generate magnetic fields, which complicate matters even more, since these also modify the motion of charges. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Technical tour-de-force traps positrons," 11 Dec. 2018 Not helping matters is Life is Strange 2, the first episode of which released in September. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Obsidian teases a game reveal, the FTC pledges to look into loot boxes," 30 Nov. 2018 And as much as making a bag that lasts matters to them, the founders still understand that this new generation of travelers (and likely those who come after) want a brand that gives them the freedom to express their individuality. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 This is one of those issues where every voice matters. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Gun Violence Is a Women's Issue," 27 Mar. 2019 The disagree light will be a standard feature on all forthcoming Boeing 737 Max planes, a source familiar with the matter told the Times. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Report: Boeing Charged Extra for Safety Features Tied to 737 Max Crashes," 21 Mar. 2019 The worldliness is, of course, a matter of historical fact, a consequence of experience. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The games don’t matter — only the players’ development does. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "If you like spring training, you’re in luck. The Mariners’ season will be six months of it.," 27 Mar. 2019 But none of that matters: The season starts all over again this week, and the NCAA tournament bracket is finally out. ... Andrew Beaton And Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Gonzaga Are Top Seeds in NCAA Tournament," 17 Mar. 2019 Here's the big picture is, elections don't matter to them. Fox News, "Hannity: Democrats have turned SCOTUS process into a sham," 27 Sep. 2018 That’s especially evident when lawmakers can’t agree upon what’s wrong in the first place, and many seem intent on focusing on political agendas and headline-making sideshows instead of drilling down on the issues that matter. Emily Stewart, Vox, "There are lots of reasons to worry about Google. Congress just picked the wrong one.," 12 Dec. 2018 Inslee has also made a bit of a name for himself as a fighter, especially on a few issues that matter to the far left — which is who dominates Democratic caucuses. Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times, "If Jay Inslee runs for president, his biggest accomplishment may be his undoing," 28 Nov. 2018 What matters most is not the end goal but rather my daily transformations along the way. Alejandro Jodorowsky, ELLE Decor, "A Conversation Between Hotelier Alan Faena and Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky," 14 Nov. 2018 This year, fundamental economics matter more than mood. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Investors Go From Overoptimistic to Sort of Pessimistic," 21 Jan. 2019 This incentive obviously wouldn’t matter to Uber, given its size and public profile. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Why Lyft had to beat Uber to an IPO filing," 6 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

18 Apr 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

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