👼 Set your curiosity free with rich, wide-ranging, hyper-connected information.

material definition

Overview

This page has 35 definitions of material with English translations in 9 languages. Material is an adjective, noun and verb. Examples of how to use material in a sentence are shown. Also define these 55 related words and terms: worldly, spiritual, law, accounting, significant, Julian calendar, immaterial, matter, shape, manipulate, written, sample, specimen, study, garment, fabric, people, qualified, data, basis, document, book, substance, chess, player, piece, pawn, chessboard, form, materialize, material, supernatural, regular, conventional, physical, attributes, properties, prominent, materiale, stuff, footage, education, tackle, supplies, gear, rig, chemistry, religion, terreno, derogatory, materialistic, consumeristic, materialista, consumista, and subject.

See also: Material, materiál, and materiał

English material definition

Etymology

From Middle English material, from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteria (wood, material, substance), from māter (mother). Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork (material, matter) (from Old English andweorc (matter, substance, material)).

Pronunciation

Adjective

material (comparative more material, superlative most material)

  1. Having to do with matter; consisting of matter.
    This compound has a number of interesting material properties.
  2. Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.
    Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a happy life.
    Antonym: spiritual
  3. (law, accounting) Significant.
    You've made several material contributions to this project.
    This is the most material fact in this lawsuit.
    Antonym: immaterial

Synonyms

Derived terms

Terms derived from material (adjective)

Translations

Noun

material (countable and uncountable, plural materials)

  1. Matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.
    Asphalt, composed of oil and sand, is a widely used material for roads.
    • 1820, Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature[1], volume 20, 6th edition, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Company, page 501:
      In trumpets for assisting the hearing, all reverbation of the trumpet must be avoided. It must be made thick, of the least elastic materials, and covered with cloth externally. For all reverbation lasts for a short time, and produces new sounds which mix with those which are coming in.
    • 2012 March 1, Lee A. Groat, “Gemstones”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 128:
      Although there are dozens of different types of gems, among the best known and most important are […] . (Common gem materials not addressed in this article include amber, amethyst, chalcedony, garnet, lazurite, malachite, opals, peridot, rhodonite, spinel, tourmaline, turquoise and zircon.)
  2. Text written for a specific purpose.
    We were a warm-up act at the time; we didn't have enough original material to headline.
  3. A sample or specimens for study.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get []
    • Study definition
      To review materials already learned in order to make sure one does not forget them, usually in preparation for an examination. (1 of 6 study definitions)
  4. Cloth to be made into a garment. Fabric.
    You'll need about a yard of material to make this.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. There was a great deal of them, lavish both in material and in workmanship.
  5. The people collectively who are qualified for a certain position or activity.
    boyfriend material, girlfriend material, wifey material
    John Doe is a great governor, and I also believe he is presidential material.
    He is not the only one. I believe we have lots of presidential material in various public offices.
  6. Related data of various kinds, especially if collected as the basis for a document or book.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
    • Document definition
      An original or official paper used as the basis, proof, or support of anything else, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information pertinent to such proof or support. (1 of 5 document definitions)
    • Book definition
      A collection of sheets of paper bound together to hinge at one edge, containing printed or written material, pictures, etc. (1 of 14 book definitions)
  7. The substance that something is made or composed of.
  8. (chess) All of a player's pieces and pawns on the chessboard.
    • Piece definition
      A part of a larger whole, usually in such a form that it is able to be separated from other parts. (1 of 20 piece definitions)
    • Chessboard definition
      The square board used in the game of chess, subdivided into eight rows of eight squares each, the squares in each row and column being of alternating colours. (1 of 2 chessboard definitions)

Usage notes

  • Sense 4 ("cloth" or "fabric") rather awkwardly uses material to refer to a holonym (or subgroup, or, in this case, a more specific iteration) of itself. "Fabric" or "cloth" are more specific (or put another way, less vague) choices of word than "material" when referring to a textile.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

Verb

material (third-person singular simple present materials, present participle materialling, simple past and past participle materialled)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To form from matter; to materialize.
    • 1643, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
      I believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and is left in the same state after death as before it was materialled unto life.
    • Form definition
      To do with shape.
      1. The shape or visible structure of a thing or person.
      2. A thing that gives shape to other things as in a mold.
      3. Regularity, beauty, or elegance.
      4. The inherent nature of an object; that which the mind itself contributes as the condition of knowing; that in which the essence of a thing consists.
      5. Characteristics not involving atomic components. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
      6. A long bench with no back.
      7. The boundary line of a material object. In painting, more generally, the human body.
      8. The combination of planes included under a general crystallographic symbol. It is not necessarily a closed solid.
      (1 of 27 form definitions)
    • Materialize definition
      To cause to take physical form, or to cause an object to appear. (1 of 3 materialize definitions)

Anagrams


Catalan material definition

Etymology

From Latin materialis.

Pronunciation

Adjective

material (masculine and feminine plural materials)

  1. material (clarification of this definition is needed)

Noun

material m (plural materials)

  1. material (clarification of this definition is needed)

Related terms

Further reading


Crimean Tatar material definition

Etymology

From Latin materialis.

Noun

material

  1. material

Declension

References

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary]‎[2], Simferopol: Dolya, →ISBN

Galician material definition

Noun

material m (plural materiais)

  1. material

Indonesian material definition

Etymology

From Dutch materiaal, from Middle Dutch materiael, from Middle French material, from Old French material, from Latin māteriālis.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [ma.teˈri.al]
  • Hyphenation: ma‧té‧ri‧al

Noun

material (plural material-material, first-person possessive materialku, second-person possessive materialmu, third-person possessive materialnya)

  1. material: matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.

Related terms

Further reading


Middle English material definition

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin māteriālis; equivalent to matere +‎ -al.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /matɛriˈaːl/, /maːtɛriˈaːl/, /maˈtɛːrial/, /matɛriˈɛːl/, /maˈtɛːriɛl/

Adjective

material (plural and weak singular materiale)

  1. Extant in matter or having physical form; material.
  2. Not supernatural or spiritual; regular, conventional, worldly.
    • Supernatural definition
      Above nature; beyond or added to nature, often so considered because it is given by a deity or some force beyond that which humans are born with. (1 of 2 supernatural definitions)
  3. Being the physical attributes or properties of a thing.
  4. Affecting or modifying physical matter or attributes.
  5. (rare) Prominent, significant.

Descendants

References


Norwegian Bokmål material definition

Etymology

From Late Latin materiale.

Noun

material n (definite singular materialet, indefinite plural material or materialer, definite plural materiala or materialene)

  1. alternative form of materiale
    • Materiale definition
      material

Derived terms

References


Portuguese material definition

Etymology

Borrowed from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteria (wood, material, substance), from māter (mother).

Pronunciation

  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /ma.te.ɾi.ˈaw/, /ma.te.ˈɾjaw/
  • Hyphenation: ma‧te‧ri‧al

Noun

material m (plural materiais)

  1. material; stuff (the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object)
  2. material (sample or specimens for study)
    1. footage (amount of film produced)
    2. (education) resources used in class
  3. tackle; supplies; gear; rig (objects collected for use in a particular activity)
    material escolarschool supplies
    material de pescafishing gear
    • Tackle definition
      A device for grasping an object and an attached means of moving it, as a rope and hook. (1 of 11 tackle definitions)
    • Supplies definition
      Third-person singular simple present indicative form of supply

Quotations

For quotations using this term, see Citations:material.

Adjective

material m or f (plural materiais, comparable)

  1. (chemistry) material (relating to or composed of matter)
    • Chemistry definition
      The branch of natural science that deals with the composition and constitution of substances and the changes that they undergo as a consequence of alterations in the constitution of their molecules. (1 of 3 chemistry definitions)
  2. (religion) material; worldly (relating to physical rather than spiritual matters)
    Synonym: terreno
  3. (of a person, derogatory) materialistic; consumeristic (obsessed with consumer goods)
    Synonyms: materialista, consumista
    • Materialista definition
      materialist
    • Consumista definition
      consumerist

Quotations

For quotations using this term, see Citations:material.

Derived terms

Related terms

Further reading

  • material” in Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa.

Spanish material definition

Etymology

From Late Latin māteriālis.

Adjective

material (plural materiales)

  1. material

Noun

material m (plural materiales)

  1. material
Derived terms

Related terms


Swedish material definition

Pronunciation

Noun

material n

  1. a material
  2. a matter, a subject (of study)

Declension

Declension of material 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative material materialet material materialen
Genitive materials materialets materials materialens

Related terms

Further reading