What does material mean?

Definitions for material
məˈtɪər i əlma·te·ri·al

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word material.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. material, stuff(noun)

    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object

    "coal is a hard black material"; "wheat is the stuff they use to make bread"

  2. material(noun)

    information (data or ideas or observations) that can be used or reworked into a finished form

    "the archives provided rich material for a definitive biography"

  3. fabric, cloth, material, textile(noun)

    artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers

    "the fabric in the curtains was light and semitransparent"; "woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC"; "she measured off enough material for a dress"

  4. material(noun)

    things needed for doing or making something

    "writing materials"; "useful teaching materials"

  5. material(adj)

    a person judged suitable for admission or employment

    "he was university material"; "she was vice-presidential material"

  6. material(adj)

    concerned with worldly rather than spiritual interests

    "material possessions"; "material wealth"; "material comforts"

  7. material(adj)

    derived from or composed of matter

    "the material universe"

  8. material(adj)

    directly relevant to a matter especially a law case

    "his support made a material difference"; "evidence material to the issue at hand"; "facts likely to influence the judgment are called material facts"; "a material witness"

  9. material(adj)

    concerned with or affecting physical as distinct from intellectual or psychological well-being

    "material needs"; "the moral and material welfare of all good citizens"- T.Roosevelt

  10. corporeal, material(adj)

    having material or physical form or substance

    "that which is created is of necessity corporeal and visible and tangible" - Benjamin Jowett

  11. substantial, real, material(adj)

    having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary

    "the substantial world"; "a mere dream, neither substantial nor practical"; "most ponderous and substantial things"- Shakespeare


  1. material(Noun)

    Matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.

    Asphalt, composed of oil and sand, is a widely used material for roads.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  2. material(Noun)

    Text written for a specific purpose.

    We were a warm-up act at the time; we didn't have enough original material to headline.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  3. material(Noun)

    A sample or specimens for study.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  4. material(Noun)

    Cloth to be made into a garment.

    You'll need about a yard of material to make this.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  5. material(Noun)

    A person who is qualified for a certain position or activity.

    Joe Manchin is a great governor, and I also believe he is presidential material.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  6. material(Adjective)

    Having to do with matter.

    This compound has a number of interesting material properties.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  7. material(Adjective)

    Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.

    Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a good life.

    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

  8. material(Adjective)


    Etymology: From material, from materialis, from materia "wood, material, substance" from mater "mother". Displaced native andweorc (from andweorc).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Material(adj)

    consisting of matter; not spiritual; corporeal; physical; as, material substance or bodies

  2. Material(adj)

    hence: Pertaining to, or affecting, the physical nature of man, as distinguished from the mental or moral nature; relating to the bodily wants, interests, and comforts

  3. Material(adj)

    of solid or weighty character; not insubstantial; of cinsequence; not be dispensed with; important

  4. Material(adj)

    pertaining to the matter, as opposed to the form, of a thing. See Matter

  5. Material(noun)

    the substance or matter of which anything is made or may be made

  6. Material(verb)

    to form from matter; to materialize


  1. Material

    Material is anything made of matter, constituted of one or more substances. Wood, cement, hydrogen, air, water and any other matter are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term "material" is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties that are used as inputs to production or manufacturing. In this sense, materials are the parts required to make something else, from buildings and art to airplanes and computers. Material is also used to refer to a group of ideas, facts, information or data, that may provide the basis for or are part of some piece of work.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Material

    ma-tē′ri-al, adj. consisting of matter: corporeal, not spiritual: substantial: essential: important, esp. of legal importance: (phil.) pertaining to matter and not to form, relating to the object as it exists.—n., esp. in pl., that out of which anything is to be made.—n. Materialisā′tion.—v.t. Matē′rialīse, to render material: to reduce to or regard as matter: to occupy with material interests.—ns. Matē′rialism, the doctrine that denies the independent existence of spirit, and maintains that there is but one substance—viz. matter—thus professing to find in matter (monistic or philosophical materialism), or in material entities (atomistic materialism), or in material qualities and forces (scientific or physical materialism), a complete explanation of all life and existence whatsoever; Matē′rialist, one who holds the doctrine of materialism: one absorbed in material interests, who takes a low view of life and its responsibilities.—adjs. Materialist′ic, -al, pertaining to materialism.—adv. Matē′rially.—ns. Matē′rialness, Material′ity.—Material being, existence in the form of matter; Material cause, that which gives being to the thing; Material distinction, a distinction between individuals of the same species; Material evidence, evidence tending to prove or to disprove the matter under judgment; Material fallacy, a fallacy in the matter or thought, rather than in the logical form; Material form, a form depending on matter; Material issue (see Issue).—Raw material, stuff as yet unworked into anything useful. [Fr.,—L. materialismateria.]

Editors Contribution

  1. material

    A type of matter.

    Materials are formed from energy,information, light and frequency.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 19, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. material

    Song lyrics by material -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by material on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #737

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1528

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'material' in Nouns Frequency: #185

How to pronounce material?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say material in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of material in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of material in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of material in a Sentence

  1. Henk Jonkers:

    You need bacteria that can survive the harsh environment of concrete, it's a rock-like, stone-like material, very dry.

  2. Olli Heinonen:

    Historically, nuclear-weapon design and even manufacturing have gone hand by hand with the production of fissile material, the bomb to Hiroshima was dropped without testing only a few weeks after the last chunks of high enriched uranium were produced.

  3. Joshua Weiss:

    You cannot work 18-hour days, seven days a week, and expect to maintain your body and personal life, everybody thinks they will be different, and everybody finds out the hard way that this is not the case. Work hard—absolutely. But make sure to take the proper time to have a personal life and to maintain your health. If you cannot balance multiple things simultaneously, you’re not CEO material.

  4. Jessica Lahey:

    In order to be invested in our own learning or anything we're doing, we need to feel like we have some control over the details of it. We need to have some autonomy and control over the details of it. We need to feel competent, and if parents are fixing homework for us, the kid never really gets to feel competent because the parent's the one fixing it and they really need to feel invested and connected to the material.

  5. Katie McHugh:

    My editors were expecting me to take white nationalist material from Stephen Miller and put it into News stories in order to boost the campaign of Donald Trump.

Images & Illustrations of material

  1. materialmaterialmaterialmaterialmaterial

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for material

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مادةArabic
  • матэрыялBelarusian
  • материалBulgarian
  • materialCatalan, Valencian
  • materiálový, materiální, hmotný, materiálCzech
  • materiale, materiel, stofDanish
  • Material, materiell, Stoff, RohstoffGerman
  • υλικός, ύφασμα, καίριος, ουσιώδης, υλικόGreek
  • ŝtofo, materialoEsperanto
  • significativo, materialSpanish
  • مطلب, مادیPersian
  • merkittävä, materiaali, aineisto, raaka-aine, olennainenFinnish
  • matériau, matière, tissu, matériel, étoffeFrench
  • mianachIrish
  • adhbharScottish Gaelic
  • significativa, significativo, materialGalician
  • חומרHebrew
  • anyag, materiális, anyagiHungarian
  • materialeItalian
  • 題材, 人材, 資料, 生地, 物質, 素材, 布, 材料Japanese
  • 材料, 물질, 재료, 物質Korean
  • corporeus, verba scriptoris, materiaLatin
  • wereldlijk, grondstof, materiële, materiaal, wereldlijke, materieel, naaigoedDutch
  • stoff, materiell, materiale, tøyNorwegian
  • materiał, materialnyPolish
  • material, tecido, significativo, terreno, panoPortuguese
  • material, materială, stofă, pânză, materie, material textilRomanian
  • материал, важный, материальный, вещество, материя, тканьRussian
  • materijal, материјалSerbo-Croatian
  • material, materia, materiell, världsligSwedish
  • матеріалUkrainian
  • 物質, vật chấtVietnamese
  • stöfikVolapük

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"material." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 5 May 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/material>.

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  • A. subrogation
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