Nearby words

  1. mater turrita,
  2. mater-,
  3. materfamilias,
  4. materia alba,
  5. materia medica,
  6. material cause,
  7. material culture,
  8. material equivalence,
  9. material implication,
  10. material mode

Origin of material

1300–50; Middle English < Late Latin māteriālis of, belonging to matter. See matter, -al1

Related forms
Can be confusedmaterial matériel

Synonym study

1. See matter. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for materials

British Dictionary definitions for materials


pl n

the equipment necessary for a particular activity



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 materials
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper