mat·​ter-of-fact ˌma-tər-ə(v)-ˈfakt How to pronounce matter-of-fact (audio)
: adhering to the unembellished facts
also : being plain, straightforward, or unemotional
matter-of-factly adverb
matter-of-factness noun

Examples of matter-of-fact in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The matter-of-fact reports failed to convey the brutality of rape, while the subjective reports were rich with personalized details, elicited from the victims. cleveland, 17 Sep. 2023 The bags’ combination of matter-of-fact tag lines and mundane material poked at the idea of the shopping bag as a status symbol, said Emily Orr, an associate curator at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Hilary Reid, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Lee’s style is plain and matter-of-fact, and the film’s spare and often muted visual language (cinematography is by Pawel Edelman) matches that mood. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Sep. 2023 One thing that struck me, too, is in the documentary, one of the women just made this really matter-of-fact comment. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Sep. 2023 Its matter-of-fact treatment of suicidal thoughts led to a flood of D.M.s from viewers with similar experiences. Alex Barasch, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 An unusually matter-of-fact, sober, and dispassionate exploration of the political institutions and arrangements governing the territory once ruled by the British in their Palestine Mandate, this book is a model of scholarly engagement with challenging political issues. Lisa Anderson, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 This matter-of-fact handling of agonizing feelings is kind of Parden’s thing. Haben Kelati, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2023 Mia is so blunt about the subject of her parents’ relationship—so matter-of-fact, and so devoid of rancor—as to suggest that the Prevezer curse has been decisively routed. Parul Sehgal, The New Yorker, 14 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1712, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of matter-of-fact was in 1712

Dictionary Entries Near matter-of-fact

Cite this Entry

“Matter-of-fact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: sticking to fact
a matter-of-fact account
also : being plain, straightforward, or unemotional
described the accident in a matter-of-fact way

Legal Definition

matter of fact

see matter

More from Merriam-Webster on matter-of-fact

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