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 entry 1 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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 inoculation blitz is a matter of national pride. Ilan Ben Zion, BostonGlobe.com, "Israel trades Pfizer doses for medical data in vaccine blitz," 18 Jan. 2021 But the Senate trial is not a matter of political fortune. Washington Post, "What does Josh Hawley think he’s doing?," 17 Jan. 2021 One aide was only a matter of feet from protesters when the Secret Service intervened. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Away days give Pence chance to leave Washington and forget Trump turmoil," 17 Jan. 2021 Yet attending the inauguration of a political rival is not just a matter of politeness. Douglas Casson, Star Tribune, "Pence's presence Wednesday will affirm democracy," 16 Jan. 2021 The intrusion of social services and police, which threaten to break up the family, are another matter. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Acasa, My Home’ movingly explores the tug of war between nature and civilization," 14 Jan. 2021 Growing the adoption rates of these apps can be a matter of life and death, so reaching a critical mass of users should be an imperative. Ben Alsdurf, STAT, "To make Covid-19 exposure apps work, integrate them with existing popular apps like Facebook," 12 Jan. 2021 For some, starting a business later in life is a matter of financial necessity. Mariel Padilla, USA TODAY, "‘It’s never too late’: Entrepreneurial spirit drives older women," 6 Jan. 2021 But, more than anything Facebook itself did, that was a matter of the Biden campaign playing the Facebook game better. Siva Vaidhyanathan, The New Republic, "Making Sense of the Facebook Menace," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That the comparisons were apples and oranges did not matter so much as the prisms through which they were reflected. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "The only way this presidency could end," 14 Jan. 2021 That the comparisons were apples and oranges did not matter so much as the prisms through which they were reflected. New York Times, "A Preordained Coda to a Presidency," 13 Jan. 2021 Fast turnaround times matter for COVID-19 testing because if labs take days to return results, contact tracing becomes all but impossible. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Denver Zoo, resort bubble, nursing home shots: News from around our 50 states," 29 Dec. 2020 The aspiration is that race and religion don’t matter. Anil Ananthaswamy, Smithsonian Magazine, "How the Belief in American Exceptionalism Has Shaped the Pandemic Response," 18 Dec. 2020 Yes, the results matter to a degree especially next week’s Territorial Cup. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "ASU football vs. UCLA: Live updates, scores, notes," 6 Dec. 2020 Is there any chance that some of the players just feel like this year doesn't matter? Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State mailbag: Foster Loyer's time to shine? Does football even count this year?," 27 Nov. 2020 These businesses matter to the future of my neighborhood. John Ewoldt, Star Tribune, "Small retailers in Twin Cities worry holiday season might leave them behind," 27 Nov. 2020 Of course, the actual space policies Biden pursues matter most. Alexander William Salter, National Review, "How Will Joe Biden Handle Outer Space?," 24 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for matter

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for matter

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Matter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matter. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for matter

matter

noun
How to pronounce matter (audio)

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 proceedingsmatter 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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Comments on matter

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