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 newsie, in a matter of seconds, gives a star turn, maybe his first, without ever picking up a horn. Gwen Thompkins, The New Yorker, "An Eight-Second Film of 1915 New Orleans and the Mystery of Louis Armstrong’s Happiness," 8 July 2019 These public companies have more than quadrupled their valuations in a matter of years. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "4 San Diego companies that grew billions (and billions) while you weren’t looking," 8 July 2019 The person familiar with the matter said the new charges against Epstein are for conduct similar to those that brought about his plea deal. Devlin Barrett, sun-sentinel.com, "New arrest of millionaire Jeffrey Epstein raises more questions about Palm Beach sex crimes case and plea," 7 July 2019 The person familiar with the matter was not authorized to speak publicly and insisted on anonymity. Gregory Katz, chicagotribune.com, "Britain’s ambassador to U.S. calls Trump administration ‘clumsy and inept’ in leaked diplomatic cable," 7 July 2019 Before Trump's tweets plunged their week into chaos, Justice officials thought the president understood how few legal options remained, according to people familiar with the matter. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census," 5 July 2019 Unfortunately, borrowers won’t have a say in the matter. Lew Sichelman, courant.com, "Housing Scene: Odd parcels: Stay or go, LIBOR, barn doors," 5 July 2019 That 300-capacity venue sold out in a matter of minutes, as expected. Ed Masley, azcentral, "July local music picks for Phoenix: Jimmy Eat World, Authority Zero, Okilly Dokilly, more," 2 July 2019 While Kaepernick's reported involvement in the matter made waves on social media Monday night, Ducey's tweets indicate that Nike's decision to cancel the release of the shoe will have significant financial consequences. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Nike's decision to cancel 'Betsy Ross flag' shoe prompts backlash from Arizona governor," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While we're fully invested in every detail of their wedding night, from the venue (Le Château de Tourreau in Provence, France) to the guest list, there's only one aspect of the ceremony that matters most: Sophie Turner's dress. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Sophie Turner's (Second) Wedding Dress Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale," 4 July 2019 Doesn’t matter if two-film-olds are ungrateful to the industry that has given them all. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Amidst its many crises, India’s obsessing over an 18-year-old’s decision to quit Bollywood," 3 July 2019 Representation matters The societies say that despite a wealth of evidence that diversity benefits science, workplaces still have much to do to cultivate inclusive environments — LGBT+ people are thought to be under-represented in science overall. Elizabeth Gibney, Scientific American, "Discrimination Drives LGBT+ Scientists to Think About Quitting," 29 June 2019 The answer is that the details do matter to Americans, quite a lot, but even in the most extreme situations put forward, many people still support a massive attack on the civilians of North Korea. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Americans are terrifyingly supportive of nuking civilians in North Korea," 26 June 2019 After falling one game short of winning the 2018 National League Central title outright, the Cubs understand that every game matters. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Cubs haven’t been all right against left-handed starting pitchers," 26 June 2019 The fact is that, as an economic asset and gateway, the city now matters less to Beijing than ever before. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "Hong Kong’s Flickering Hopes for Freedom," 21 June 2019 Surely, Diamond is correct that its national identity, core values, problem-solving skills, and self-appraisal mattered. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, "All Over the Map," 11 June 2019 What really matters is that this crisp wheat ale is a perfect antidote to sweating your ass off while mowing the lawn. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The 12 Best Summer Beers of 2019," 10 June 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

11 Jul 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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