Definitions for matterˈmæt ər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word matter

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

mat•ter*ˈmæt ər(n.)

  1. the substance of which any physical object consists or is composed.

  2. physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, esp. as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.

    Category: Physics

  3. something that occupies space.

  4. a particular kind of substance:

    coloring matter.

  5. a situation; affair:

    a trivial matter.

  6. an amount or extent reckoned approximately:

    a matter of 10 miles.

  7. importance; significance:

    decisions of little matter.

  8. reason; cause:

    a matter for complaint.

  9. the substance of discourse or writing.

  10. something written or printed:

    reading matter.

  11. things sent by mail.

  12. a substance discharged by a living body, esp. pus.

    Category: Pathology

  13. that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality.

    Category: Philosphy

  14. (v.i.)to be of importance; signify:

    It matters to me.

  15. to suppurate.

    Category: Pathology

  16. to be the matter,to be a source of concern; be amiss or awry:

    What's the matter? Something's the matter.

Idioms for matter:

  1. for that matter, as far as that is concerned; as for that.

    Category: Idiom

  2. no matter, regardless or irrespective of:

    no matter how we try.

    Category: Idiom

* Syn: matter , material , stuff , substance refer to that of which physical objects are composed. matter applies to anything occupying space and perceptible to the senses; it may denote a particular kind: solid matter; vegetable matter.material refers to a definite kind of matter, esp. that used to manufacture or construct something: woolen material; building materials.stuff is an informal term that applies to the basic material of which something is made; it may also denote an unspecified kind of material: Do you have the stuff to make the rug? substance is usu. a definite kind of matter thought of in relation to its characteristic properties: a sticky substance. These terms are also used abstractly, esp. with reference to thought or expression: controversial matter; material for a novel; the stuff of dreams; the substance of a speech.

Origin of matter:

1175–1225; ME mater(e), materie < AF, OF mat(i)ere, materie < L māteria woody part of a tree, material, substance, der. of mātermother1


Princeton's WordNet

  1. matter, affair, thing(noun)

    a vaguely specified concern

    "several matters to attend to"; "it is none of your affair"; "things are going well"

  2. topic, subject, issue, matter(noun)

    some situation or event that is thought about

    "he kept drifting off the topic"; "he had been thinking about the subject for several years"; "it is a matter for the police"

  3. matter(noun)

    that which has mass and occupies space

    "physicists study both the nature of matter and the forces which govern it"

  4. matter(noun)

    a problem

    "is anything the matter?"

  5. matter(noun)

    (used with negation) having consequence

    "they were friends and it was no matter who won the games"

  6. matter(verb)

    written works (especially in books or magazines)

    "he always took some reading matter with him on the plane"

  7. count, matter, weigh(verb)

    have weight; have import, carry weight

    "It does not matter much"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. matter(noun)ˈmæt ər

    a subject or topic

    We're trying to deal with the matter of his bad behavior.; That's a different matter altogether.

  2. matterˈmæt ər

    a substance or type of thing

    printed matter

  3. matterˈmæt ər

    indicates a problem or worry

    What's the matter, Henry?; There's something the matter with my Internet connection.

  4. matterˈmæt ər

    emphasizes how small sth is

    It's just a matter of days until we go on vacation.; It's only a matter of time before he finds out.

  5. matterˈmæt ər

    indicates what sth involves or is about

    His getting the job or not is really just a matter of luck.

  6. matterˈmæt ər

    depending on sb's opinion or taste

    Whether capital punishment is acceptable is a matter of opinion.

  7. matterˈmæt ər

    a situation in which sb could die

  8. matterˈmæt ər

    indicates you are going to give more information

    As a matter of fact, we've just moved into the area.

  9. matterˈmæt ər

    indicates you disagree and are going to give your opinion

    As a matter of fact, it wasn't Paul who did it, it was Johnny.

  10. matterˈmæt ər

    emphasizes a statement

    I won't be helping him - or anyone else for that matter.

  11. matterˈmæt ər

    indicates what sb does or where/when sth happens is not important

    I'll always love you, no matter what you do.

  12. matter(verb)ˈmæt ər

    to be important or significant

    It doesn't matter if I rip these old pants.; It's family that matters most to him.; Does it matter what time we come?


  1. matter(Noun)

    The basic structural component of the universe. Matter usually has mass and volume.

  2. matter(Noun)

    Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles. (Non-antimatter matter).

  3. matter(Noun)

    A kind of substance.

    vegetable matter

  4. matter(Noun)

    A condition, subject or affair, especially one of concern.

  5. matter(Noun)

    An approximate amount or extent.

    a matter of months; a matter of knowledge.

  6. matter(Noun)

    Written material (especially in books or magazines)

    He always took some reading matter with him on the plane

  7. matter(Noun)

    Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.

  8. matter(Verb)

    To be important.

  9. matter(Verb)

    To care about, to mind; to find important.

  10. Origin: From mater, from materie, from materie, from materia (matter, stuff, material), derivative of Latin mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc), intinga.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Matter(noun)

    that of which anything is composed; constituent substance; material; the material or substantial part of anything; the constituent elements of conception; that into which a notion may be analyzed; the essence; the pith; the embodiment

  2. Matter(noun)

    that of which the sensible universe and all existent bodies are composed; anything which has extension, occupies space, or is perceptible by the senses; body; substance

  3. Matter(noun)

    that with regard to, or about which, anything takes place or is done; the thing aimed at, treated of, or treated; subject of action, discussion, consideration, feeling, complaint, legal action, or the like; theme

  4. Matter(noun)

    that which one has to treat, or with which one has to do; concern; affair; business

  5. Matter(noun)

    affair worthy of account; thing of consequence; importance; significance; moment; -- chiefly in the phrases what matter ? no matter, and the like

  6. Matter(noun)

    inducing cause or occasion, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing; difficulty; trouble

  7. Matter(noun)

    amount; quantity; portion; space; -- often indefinite

  8. Matter(noun)

    substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess; pus; purulent substance

  9. Matter(noun)

    that which is permanent, or is supposed to be given, and in or upon which changes are effected by psychological or physical processes and relations; -- opposed to form

  10. Matter(noun)

    written manuscript, or anything to be set in type; copy; also, type set up and ready to be used, or which has been used, in printing

  11. Matter(verb)

    to be of importance; to import; to signify

  12. Matter(verb)

    to form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate

  13. Matter(verb)

    to regard as important; to take account of; to care for


  1. Matter

    Matter is a poorly-defined term in science. The term has often been used in reference to a substance that has rest mass. Matter is also used loosely as a general term for the substance that makes up all observable physical objects. All objects we see with the naked eye are composed of atoms. This atomic matter is in turn made up of interacting subatomic particles—usually a nucleus of protons and neutrons, and a cloud of orbiting electrons. Typically, science considers these composite particles matter because they have both rest mass and volume. By contrast, massless particles, such as photons, are not considered matter, because they have neither rest mass nor volume. However, not all particles with rest mass have a classical volume, since fundamental particles such as quarks and leptons are considered "point particles" with no effective size or volume. Nevertheless, quarks and leptons together make up "ordinary matter," and their interactions contribute to the effective volume of the composite particles that make up ordinary matter. Matter commonly exists in four states: solid, liquid and gas, and plasma. . However, advances in experimental techniques have revealed other previously theoretical phases, such as Bose–Einstein condensates and fermionic condensates. A focus on an elementary-particle view of matter also leads to new phases of matter, such as the quark–gluon plasma. For much of the history of the natural sciences people have contemplated the exact nature of matter. The idea that matter was built of discrete building blocks, the so-called particulate theory of matter, was first put forward by the Greek philosophers Leucippus and Democritus.²²

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'matter' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #581

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'matter' in Written Corpus Frequency: #593

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'matter' in Nouns Frequency: #122

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'matter' in Verbs Frequency: #387

Translations for matter

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


solids, liquids and/or gases in any form, from which everything physical is made

The entire universe is made up of different kinds of matter.

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