Origin of material

1300–50; Middle English < Late Latin māteriālis of, belonging to matter. See matter, -al1
Related formsma·te·ri·al·ness, nounpre·ma·te·ri·al, adjectivequa·si-ma·te·ri·al, adjectivequa·si-ma·te·ri·al·ly, adverbsu·per·ma·te·ri·al, nountrans·ma·te·ri·al, adjectiveun·ma·te·ri·al, adjectiveun·ma·te·ri·al·ly, adverb
Can be confusedmaterial matériel

Synonym study

1. See matter.

Synonyms for material

Antonyms for material Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for material

Contemporary Examples of material

Historical Examples of material

British Dictionary definitions for material



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
See also materials
Derived Formsmaterialness, noun

Word Origin for material

C14: via French from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteria matter
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 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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper