material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : relating to, derived from, or consisting of matter especially : physical the material world
(2) : bodily material needs
b(1) : of or relating to matter rather than form material cause the material aspect of being
(2) : of or relating to the subject matter of reasoning especially : empirical material knowledge
2 : having real importance or great consequences facts material to the investigation
3a : being of a physical or worldly nature a grossly material form of love
b : relating to or concerned with physical rather than spiritual or intellectual things material progress provide material assistance

material

noun

Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : the elements, constituents, or substances of which something is composed or can be made
(2) : matter that has qualities which give it individuality and by which it may be categorized sticky material explosive materials
b(1) : something (such as data) that may be worked into a more finished form material for a biography
(2) : something used for or made the object of study material for the next semester
(3) : a performer's repertoire a comedian's material
d : cloth
e : a person potentially suited to some pursuit varsity material leadership material
2a : apparatus necessary for doing or making something writing materials
b : matériel

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Other Words from material

Adjective

materially \ mə-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce material (audio) \ adverb
materialness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for material

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for material

Adjective

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping. material values physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary. the physical benefits of exercise corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force. artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction. scientists concerned with the phenomenal world sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses. the earth's rotation is not sensible to us objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it. no objective evidence of damage

synonyms see in addition relevant

Examples of material in a Sentence

Adjective He is concerned only with his own material comforts. The researchers included all data that was material. Noun paper, plastic, or other materials She was never without reading material. The curtains required yards of expensive material.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The prior rollbacks in some states did not lead to material changes in the job situation. Anneken Tappe, CNN, 9 Sep. 2021 In March of 2012, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration with the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an advisory about the Driscopipe 8000 pipe and its potential for material degradation. Amaris Encinas, The Arizona Republic, 9 Sep. 2021 However, legacy is more about sharing the things that were learned – not earned – and instilling values as opposed to material wealth. Okla Jones, Essence, 3 Sep. 2021 Biden ran for office largely on two promises — getting the pandemic under control and proving that after a decade of stalemate, government could deliver material improvements in the lives of average families. Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2021 Anys, too, is grappling with the effect her career has had on her well-being, material prosperity aside. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 26 Aug. 2021 Transcending the material world and discarding the ego can be an awkward process. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, 24 Aug. 2021 Wilson, held as a material witness in Oregon, soon learned that Folkes had confessed. oregonlive, 9 Aug. 2021 Because of this, civilians without a friend in HR are often on their own when issues that can have a serious material impact on their careers arise. Gaylan Sankey, Forbes, 20 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Futures on the radioactive material have now reached their highest value in seven years, and mining companies are seeing their values rise as much as 70%. Kevin T. Dugan, Fortune, 14 Sep. 2021 The metal was all painted bright blue, the same color as the dye used to mark the patterns on the material in another traditional island industry, embroidery. Nina Caplan, Travel + Leisure, 14 Sep. 2021 There were a couple of Apple Watch problems such as the iPhone not identifying the case material on your timepiece have been addressed. David Phelan, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 As per publishers on site, there’s a huge appetite for book material to adapt to film from comedies to thrillers and children’s books. Liza Foreman, Variety, 11 Sep. 2021 Though Villeneuve's passion for the material is evident, it's never overbearing; in fact, splitting Frank Herbert's heady novel in two gives the complex characters and intricate plot more room to breathe. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 9 Sep. 2021 Other technology companies including Facebook, Microsoft and Google scan their own servers for such material. Arkansas Online, 4 Sep. 2021 Other technology companies including Facebook, Microsoft and Google scan their own servers for such material. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021 Based on a story by Clive Barker, who also is responsible for the source material of the Hellraiser films, the film effortlessly blends eroticism with the macabre. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 25 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'material.' 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 material

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Noun

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for material

Adjective and Noun

Middle English materiel, from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, from Late Latin materialis, from Latin materia matter — more at matter

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Time Traveler for material

Time Traveler

The first known use of material was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near material

materfamilias

material

material cause

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Statistics for material

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Material.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/material. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for material

material

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to or made of matter : physical
: physical rather than spiritual or intellectual
: having real importance

material

noun

English Language Learners Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance from which something is made or can be made
: a substance that has a particular quality
: something used in doing a particular activity

material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Kids Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or made of matter : physical the material world
2 : of or relating to a person's bodily needs or wants Money buys material comforts.
3 : having real importance Those facts aren't material to the case.

Other Words from material

materially adverb

material

noun

Kids Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the elements, substance, or parts of which something is made or can be made We purchased bricks and other building material.
2 : equipment needed for doing something writing materials

material

adjective
ma·​te·​ri·​al | \ mə-ˈtir-ē-əl How to pronounce material (audio) \

Legal Definition of material

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or consisting of physical matter
2 : being of real importance or consequence
3 : being an essential component the material terms of the contract
4 : being relevant to a subject under consideration specifically : being such as would affect or be taken into consideration by a reasonable person in acting or making a decision — see also insider trading

Other Words from material

materiality \ mə-​ˌtir-​ē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce material (audio) \ noun
materially adverb

material

noun

Legal Definition of material (Entry 2 of 2)

: something used for or made the object of consideration or study specifically : evidence — see also brady material

More from Merriam-Webster on material

Nglish: Translation of material for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of material for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about material

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