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matter definition

Overview

This page has 23 definitions of matter with English translations in 4 languages. Matter is a noun, verb and adjective. Examples of how to use matter in a sentence are shown. Also define these 37 related words and terms: physics, universe, mass, volume, particles, antiparticles, antimatter, material, philosophy, Aristotelian, undeveloped, potentiality, change, development, formlessness, form, substance, condition, subject, affair, concern, approximate, amount, extent, pus, important, Caribbean, care, mind, medicine, matter, abscess, maturate, mater, matt, checkmate, and matte.

See also: Matter and måtter

English matter definition

Etymology

From Middle English matere, mater, from Anglo-Norman matere, materie, from Old French materie, matiere, from Latin materia (matter, stuff, material), derivative of Latin mater (mother). Doublet of Madeira.

Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork (material, matter) (from Old English andweorc (matter, substance, material)), Old English intinga (matter, affair, business).

Pronunciation

Noun

matter (countable and uncountable, plural matters)

  1. Substance, material.
    1. (physics) The basic structural component of the universe. Matter usually has mass and volume.
    2. (physics) Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles.
      Antonym: antimatter
    3. A kind of substance.
      vegetable matter
    4. Printed material, especially in books or magazines.
      He always took some reading matter with him on the plane.
    5. (philosophy) Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.
    • Formlessness definition
      The quality of being formless.
    • 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)
  2. A condition, subject or affair, especially one of concern.
    What's the matter?;   state matters
    • 1597, Francis Bacon, Of the Colours of Good and Evil
      if the matter should be tried by duel
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 3”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      Son of God, Saviour of men! Thy name / Shall be the copious matter of my song.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], OCLC 964384981, Exodus xviii:22:
      Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; [] . Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
    • 12 July 2012, Sam Adams, AV Club Ice Age: Continental Drift
      The matter of whether the world needs a fourth Ice Age movie pales beside the question of why there were three before it, but Continental Drift feels less like an extension of a theatrical franchise than an episode of a middling TV cartoon, lolling around on territory that’s already been settled.
    • Affair definition
      Something which is done or is to be done; business of any kind, commercial, professional, or public. (1 of 9 affair definitions)
  3. An approximate amount or extent.
    I stayed for a matter of months.
  4. (obsolete) The essence; the pith; the embodiment.
  5. (obsolete) Inducing cause or reason, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing.
  6. (dated) Pus.
    • Pus definition
      A whitish-yellow or yellow substance composed primarily of dead white blood cells and dead pyogenic bacteria; normally found in regions of bacterial infection.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Terms derived from the noun "matter"

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.

Verb

matter (third-person singular simple present matters, present participle mattering, simple past and past participle mattered)

  1. (intransitive) To be important. [from 16th c.]
    The only thing that matters to Jim is being rich.
    Sorry for pouring ketchup on your clean white shirt! - Oh, don't worry, it does not matter.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, []. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. [] I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
    • 2011 April 10, Alistair Magowan, “Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle”, in BBC Sport:
      Despite further attempts by Agbonlahor and Young, however, they could not find the goal to reward their endeavour.
      It mattered little as Newcastle's challenge faded and Villa began to dominate the game in midfield, and it was only Barton's continued sense of injustice that offered the visitors any spark in a tame contest.
  2. (transitive, in negative constructions, now England regional, Caribbean) To care about, to mind; to find important. [from 17th c.]
    • Caribbean definition
      Pertaining to the sea and region of the western Atlantic bounded by South America, Central America, and the islands of the West Indies (such as Cuba and Hispaniola).
  3. (intransitive, medicine, archaic) To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.

Derived terms

Synonyms

Translations


French matter definition

Verb

matter

  1. Alternative spelling of mater

Conjugation

Anagrams


German matter definition

Pronunciation

Adjective

matter

  1. comparative degree of matt
    • Matt definition
      alternative spelling of matte
  2. inflection of matt:
    1. strong/mixed nominative masculine singular
    2. strong genitive/dative feminine singular
    3. strong genitive plural

Middle French matter definition

Alternative forms

Verb

matter

  1. to checkmate

Conjugation

  • Middle French conjugation varies from one text to another. Hence, the following conjugation should be considered as typical, not as exhaustive.

Norwegian Bokmål matter definition

Noun

matter m pl or f pl

  1. indefinite plural of matte (Etymology 1)

Norwegian Nynorsk matter definition

Noun

matter f pl

  1. indefinite plural of matte (Etymology 1)