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

King & Spalding of the District appointed Zach Harmon partner in the firm’s special matters and government investigations team. Washington Post, "Washington-area appointments and promotions for Sept. 16," 17 Sep. 2019 The First Glimmer of Light All the matter in the universe was created some 13.8 billion years ago, in a fraction of a second after the big bang. Scientific American, "Drenchable Drones, Prickly Cells and Face-Tracked Chimps: Science GIFs to Start Your Week," 16 Sep. 2019 In short order, Mr. Liberman was complaining that Mr. Netanyahu was slighting him, shrinking his budgets and cutting him out of weighty foreign-policy matters and diplomatic appointments. New York Times, "Israel Election Could Turn on Ugly Breakup of an Odd Couple," 16 Sep. 2019 However, the particle barely interacts with ordinary matter. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Massive, blimplike experiment lowers weight limit on neutrino," 16 Sep. 2019 No matter that term had started just two weeks previously and that the cost of finding alternative rooms would have been steep. The Economist, "A sad, tawdry end for Robert Mugabe," 15 Sep. 2019 Stockton Unified is aware of the student matter that took place on 9/11/19 [Wednesday] at Edison High School and the recording circulating on social media. Fox News, "California Marine filmed violently tackling two brawling students to the ground," 15 Sep. 2019 Winning is all the matters, the 43-0 final score against the Miami Dolphins justifying any means. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Antonio Brown's featured role in debut reveals Patriots' shamelessness," 15 Sep. 2019 The city raised the matter as an emergency ordinance at the most recent Mayor and Common Council meeting in order to start the process as soon as possible. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Westminster council votes to purchase Main Street property, calling move ‘incredible opportunity’," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Many of us are first-generation students and are not from much wealth, so these opportunities still matter a lot. Lena V. Groeger, ProPublica, "ProPublica Programs Are Helping Diverse Candidates Break Into Newsrooms. Here Are Their Inspiring Stories.," 21 Aug. 2019 What ultimately matters to Williams is not the number of depression or suicide subtypes, but how that knowledge helps patients. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Brain scans could help personalize treatment for people who are depressed or suicidal," 20 Aug. 2019 Hey, if Brady feels like a 22-year-old, that’s all that matters to the Patriots. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Tom Brady got a kick out of being listed as a 22-year-old on the Patriots roster," 19 Aug. 2019 Exchange rates, though, do matter, and in the context of the escalating tariff war, the recent moves between the dollar and the Chinese yuan (also called the renminbi) matter greatly. Wired, "Listen, Here’s Why the Value of China’s Yuan Really Matters," 7 Aug. 2019 One thing that matters most to the charities that rely on this giving is the predictability of this revenue. Alyssa A. Dirusso, The Conversation, "Budgeting for charity: A new way for the government to encourage giving," 30 July 2019 Money, however, has never mattered much in Mr. King’s re-elections. Trip Gabriel, New York Times, "J.D. Scholten Almost Beat Steve King in 2018. Now He’s Running Again.," 5 Aug. 2019 May not have mattered here, but Red Flag laws have proven to be effective in states that have them. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "From condemning “white terrorism” to condemning video games: Republican responses to El Paso shooting," 4 Aug. 2019 None of this mattered at all to Zheng, who left San Jose carrying a precious trophy and her career-high-matching No. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Zheng Saisi, faring better than the event, wins San Jose tennis tournament," 4 Aug. 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

19 Sep 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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