1

matter

noun mat·ter \ ˈma-tər \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of matter

1 a : 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?
2 a : 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
3 a : 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

Examples of matter in a Sentence

  1. He has a few personal matters to deal with.

  2. Disagreement is one thing, but accusations of lying are a different matter altogether!

  3. Can matter and energy be changed into each other?

Recent Examples of matter from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of matter

Middle English matere, from Anglo-French, from Latin materia matter, physical substance, from mater


2

matter

verb

Definition of matter

intransitive verb
1 : to form or discharge pus : suppurate
  • mattering wound
2 : to be of importance : signify

Examples of matter in a Sentence

  1. It may not matter to you, but it matters a lot to me!

  2. “Why are you being so quiet?” “Does it matter?” “Of course it matters!”

Recent Examples of matter from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of matter

matter Synonyms

Synonyms
count, import, mean, signify, weigh, carry weight, cut ice
Related Words
affect, concern, influence, sway; add up (to), amount (to)

MATTER Defined for English Language Learners

matter

noun

Definition of matter for English Language Learners

  • : something that is being done, talked about, or thought about

  • matters : the situation or subject that is being discussed or dealt with

  • physics : the thing that forms physical objects and occupies space


matter

verb

Definition of matter for English Language Learners

  • : to be important


MATTER Defined for Kids

1

matter

noun mat·ter \ ˈma-tər \

Definition of matter for Students

1 : something to be dealt with or considered
  • We have a serious matter to discuss.
2 : problem 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

2

matter

verb

Definition of matter for Students

mattered; mattering
: to be of importance
  • His money doesn"t matter to me.

Medical Dictionary

matter

noun mat·ter \ ˈmat-ər \

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

Law Dictionary

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 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 law
  • National 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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