[im-uh-teer-ee-uh l]


of no essential consequence; unimportant.
not pertinent; irrelevant.
not material; incorporeal; spiritual.

Origin of immaterial

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word immāteriālis. See im-2, material
Related formsim·ma·te·ri·al·ly, adverbim·ma·te·ri·al·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for immaterial

Contemporary Examples of immaterial

Historical Examples of immaterial

  • A man is at once material and immaterial, mortal and immortal.

  • That he had been given an opportunity to sin was immaterial.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • I believe now that you are misinformed as to the facts, but that is immaterial.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • What he should do when he arrived and found them there was immaterial; he must get there, that was all.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Voices also ascended, wonderful in their distinct and immaterial clearness.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for immaterial



of no real importance; inconsequential
not formed of matter; incorporeal; spiritual
Derived Formsimmateriality or immaterialness, nounimmaterially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for immaterial

late 14c., "spiritual, incorporeal," from Medieval Latin immaterialis "not consisting of matter, spiritual," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + Late Latin materialis (see material). Secondary sense of "unimportant" is first recorded 1690s from material in its 16c. sense of "important." Related: Immaterially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper