- the substance or substances of which a thing is made or composed: Stone is a durable material.
- anything that serves as crude or raw matter to be used or developed: Wood pulp is the raw material from which paper is made.
- any constituent element.
- a textile fabric: material for a dress.
- a group of ideas, facts, data, etc., that may provide the basis for or be incorporated into some integrated work: to gather material for a history of North Carolina; to write material for a comedy show.
- materials, the articles or apparatus needed to make or do something: writing materials.
- a person considered as having qualities suited to a particular sphere of activity: The boy's teachers did not think he was college material.
- formed or consisting of matter; physical; corporeal: the material world.
- relating to, concerned with, or involving matter: material forces.
- pertaining to the physical rather than the spiritual or intellectual aspect of things: material comforts.
- pertaining to or characterized by an undue interest in corporeal things; unspiritual.
- of substantial import; of much consequence; important: Your support will make a material difference in the success of our program.
- pertinent or essential (usually followed by to): a question not material to the subject at hand.
- Law. likely to influence the determination of a case: material evidence.
- Philosophy. of or relating to matter as distinguished from form.
Origin of material
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for material
The problem, of course, is that politicized ideas—religious and otherwise—are entangled with material problems.COEXIST’s Bonehead Bumper-Sticker Politics
December 21, 2014
This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.CIA Agents Assess: How Real Is ‘Homeland’?
Chuck Cogan, John MacGaffin
December 15, 2014
The comedian was right to call out Bill Cosby, but his material is littered with jokes about rape.Bill Cosby Foe Hannibal Buress Joked About Date Rape
November 20, 2014
While Kalman tends to mine the past for material, she is as irreverent as she is sentimental.The Singular Artist of New Yorkistan
November 14, 2014
The material (i.e. the slurs) generally gets inserted into other, larger pieces about policy debates.Before Ditching His Top Aides, Obama Should Look in the Mirror
Leslie H. Gelb
November 2, 2014
But where the material and the moral exist together, what is to happen then?The Hall of Fantasy (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
The Ark of God would bear them safely when all material help failed.
There is a refuge for him, a defence, a safeguard which no material attack can break down.
To the material alone we are in the habit of ascribing power.
As to the spiritual there could be a question; as to the material there could be none.
- the substance of which a thing is made or composed; component or constituent matterraw material
- facts, notes, etc, that a finished work may be based on or derived fromenough material for a book
- cloth or fabric
- a person who has qualities suitable for a given occupation, training, etcthat boy is not university material
- of, relating to, or composed of physical substance; corporeal
- philosophy composed of or relating to physical as opposed to mental or spiritual substancethe material world
- of, relating to, or affecting economic or physical wellbeingmaterial ease
- of or concerned with physical rather than spiritual interests
- of great import or consequenceof material benefit to the workers
- (often foll by to) relevant
- philosophy of or relating to matter as opposed to form
- law relevant to the issue before court: applied esp to facts or testimony of much significancea material witness
Word Origin and History for material
mid-14c., "real, ordinary; earthly, drawn from the material world;" a term in scholastic philosophy and theology, from Old French material, materiel (14c.) and directly from Late Latin materialis (adj.) "of or belonging to matter," from Latin materia "matter, stuff, wood, timber" (see matter). From late 14c. as "made of matter, having material existence; material, physical, substantial;" from late 15c. as "important, relevant."
late 14c., "substance, matter from which a thing is made," from material (adj.).