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

But then, a hot-ass English teacher (Michael Vartan) complicates matters. Marie Claire, "The 17 Best Movies on HBO Go to Watch Right Now," 28 Feb. 2019 The fact of the matter is, for many decades, seven white guys at CBS, seven white guys at NBC, New York Times determine the news on the Upper West Side of New York, essentially, or Upper East Side of New York. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 While Microsoft may be able to pick and choose among various services to offer a large enterprise, the fact of the matter is that Microsoft currently has very little to offer the consumer PC customer—at all. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "A Microsoft 365 subscription for consumers wouldn't work without the Xbox," 12 Dec. 2018 President Donald Trump met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday to discuss a matter of pressing national concern. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "The Conversation That Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Should Have Had With Donald Trump," 24 Apr. 2019 Recompense aside, there’s also the small matter of other bills that need to be paid. Emma Goldberg, Glamour, "A Penny for Her Thoughts? Women in the Gig Economy Struggle to Get Paid," 16 Apr. 2019 In this era, all matter was free-floating clouds of gas, and some of that gas could have clumped together and collapsed into very small black holes. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Rule Out Hawking Theory for Source of Dark Matter," 4 Apr. 2019 But matters are actually worse than any of these numbers would suggest, according to a 2018 report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a think tank that looks at public policy through the lens of gender. Anna North, Vox, "You’ve heard that women make 80 cents to men’s dollar. It’s much worse than that.," 2 Apr. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Easter worshippers’ matters b[e]c[ause] Easter is the holiest day of the year for Christians, & to be targeted on Easter highlights how heinous the attack was - just as saying yesterday’s #SanDiego shooting was on Passover. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "AOC Called Out Kellyanne Conway Over the Trump Administration's "Incompetent" Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico," 29 Apr. 2019 The fact that those moments came in frustrating isolation, or the fact that France’s forwards couldn’t score, or the fact that most people think now that Deschamps still is too conservative a manager for so talented a group, won’t matter. Brian Straus, SI.com, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 Everyone that mattered was there, including Bush and her Polaroid camera. Chris Black, Vogue, "Never-Before-Seen Polaroids of Amy Winehouse, Paris Hilton, and Boots Riley Recall Coachella When It Was Actually Cool," 10 Apr. 2019 Really hope Discovery finds a way to slow things down and focus on the stuff that matters. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019 Home in on the areas that matter to you (my 2019 goal is to waste less money on takeout), and work on those goals. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "The Only Money Hacks You Need to Save Big in 2019," 14 Jan. 2019 But she's traveled more than 2,000 miles, and when all that mattered to her was taken, strangers stepped in. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Strangers raise $43K to help migrant mothers reunite with separated children," 9 July 2018 By every measure that matters, Pokémon Go has been a winner. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "The Quiet, Steady Dominance of Pokémon Go," 6 July 2018 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

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

16 May 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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