- the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
- physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
- something that occupies space.
- a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
- a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter.
- an amount or extent reckoned approximately: a matter of 10 miles.
- something of consequence: matter for serious thought.
- importance or significance: decisions of little matter.
- difficulty; trouble (usually preceded by the): There is something the matter.
- ground, reason, or cause: a matter for complaint.
- the material or substance of a discourse, book, etc., often as distinguished from its form.
- things put down in words, especially printed: reading matter.
- things sent by mail: postal matter.
- a substance discharged by a living body, especially pus.
- that which by integrative organization forms chemical substances and living things.
- Aristotelianism.that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality.
- Law. statement or allegation.
- material for work; copy.
- type set up.
- Christian Science. the concept of substance shaped by the limitations of the human mind.
- to be of importance; signify: It matters little.
- Pathology. to suppurate.
- a matter of life and death, something of vital or crucial importance.
- as a matter of fact, in reality; actually; in fact: As a matter of fact, there is no substance to that rumor.
- for that matter, as far as that is concerned; as for that: For that matter, you are no better qualified to judge than I.Also for the matter of that.
- no matter,
- regardless or irrespective of: We'll never finish on time, no matter how hard we work.
- it is unimportant; it makes no difference: No matter, this string will do as well as any other.
Origin of matter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for matters
These matters are not mere threats to abstract constitutional principles.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead
January 8, 2015
What matters is being honest, humble, and a faithful and loyal friend, father and member of your community.Abramoff’s Advice for Virginia’s New Jailhouse Guv
Tim Mak, Jackie Kucinich
January 7, 2015
He also believed, as a matter of political prudence, that the commercials had to be defensible on matters of fact.David Garth, the Consultant Who Talked Up to Voters
December 15, 2014
For the broader public, it matters that we have become desensitized to the loss of some lives and value them less than others.The Post-Brown and Garner Question: Who ‘Deserves’ to Die?
December 9, 2014
He then struck an optimistic note, saying his own life is proof that we have made great progress in matters of race.Darren Wilson Wasn’t Indicted—the System Was
November 25, 2014
I got to trust you wholly in these matters, and I know I can do it, too.
It serves him right for meddling with matters that don't concern him.Brave and Bold
So he thought the things he would have said to her if matters had been different.
You think I must of necessity, as matters are circumstanced, be Solmes's wife.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
The freshmen, however, had to have matters explained to them by their friends.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
- that which makes up something, esp a physical object; material
- substance that occupies space and has mass, as distinguished from substance that is mental, spiritual, etc
- substance of a specified typevegetable matter; reading matter
- (sometimes foll by of or for) thing; affair; concern; questiona matter of taste; several matters to attend to; no laughing matter
- a quantity or amounta matter of a few pence
- the content of written or verbal material as distinct from its style or form
- (used with a negative) importance; consequence
- philosophy (in the writings of Aristotle and the Scholastics) that which is itself formless but can receive form and become substance
- philosophy (in the Cartesian tradition) one of two basic modes of existence, the other being mind : matter being extended in space as well as time
- type set up, either standing or for use
- copy to be set in type
- a secretion or discharge, such as pus
- something to be proved
- statements or allegations to be considered by a court
- for that matter as regards that
- See grey matter
- no matter
- regardless of; irrespective ofno matter what the excuse, you must not be late
- (sentence substitute)it is unimportant
- the matter wrong; the troublethere's nothing the matter
- to be of consequence or importance
- to form and discharge pus
Word Origin and History for matters
"events, affairs of a particular sort," 1560s, from plural of matter (n.).
"to be of importance or consequence," 1580s, from matter (n.). Related: Mattered; mattering.
c.1200, materie, "subject of thought, speech, or expression," from Anglo-French matere, Old French matere "subject, theme, topic; substance, content, material; character, education" (12c., Modern French matière), from Latin materia "substance from which something is made," also "hard inner wood of a tree" (cf. Portuguese madeira "wood"), from mater "origin, source, mother" (see mother (n.1)). Or, on another theory, it represents *dmateria, from PIE root *dem-/*dom- (cf. Latin domus "house," English timber). With sense development in Latin influenced by Greek hyle, of which it was the equivalent in philosophy.
Meaning "physical substance generally, matter, material" is early 14c.; that of "substance of which some specific object is made or consists of" is attested from late 14c. That of "piece of business, affair, activity, situation, circumstance" is from late 14c. From mid-14c. as "subject of a literary work, content of what is written, main theme." Also in Middle English as "cause, reasons, ground; essential character; field of investigation."
Matter of course "something expected" attested from 1739. For that matter attested from 1670s. What is the matter "what concerns (someone), the cause of the difficulty" is attested from mid-15c. To make no matter "be no difference to" also is mid-15c.
- Something that occupies space and can be perceived by one or more senses.
- A specific type of substance.
- Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.