- that which by integrative organization forms chemical substances and living things.
- Aristotelianism. that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality.
- material for work; copy.
- type set up.
verb (used without object)
- 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
In the first century b.c., the Roman poet and Epicurean philosopher Lucretius and his elder contemporary Cicero, statesman and man of letters, began using māteria in the sense “any substance that makes up a physical object,” also “the basic substance of the physical universe,” a translation of Greek hýlē “timber, firewood, wood for building.” Two hundred years earlier, Aristotle was using hýlē in the extended sense “the basic substance of the physical universe, matter,” prefiguring the Romans.
Māteria maintained its original, pre-Aristotelian sense “wood” in Portuguese, becoming madeira by regular phonetic change. The island of Madeira is so called because it is (or was) thickly wooded, and the fortified wine originating on that island is known as Madeira or Madeira wine (first occurring in English at the end of the 16th century). Some would claim that, more than wood, wine is the basic substance, or stuff, of life.
Definition for matter (2 of 3)
adjective, noun, verb (used with object)
Definition for matter (3 of 3)
or mat, matt
verb (used with object), mat·ted, mat·ting.
Origin of matte1
Examples from the Web for matter
To borrow an old right-wing talking point, these people are angry no matter what we do.
The end of conventional childbirth might only be a matter of time.
In the absence of cultural shifts, then, new reproductive technology might not matter as much for women as it would for men.
Before we get to all that, permit me a brief reflection on this matter of Steve Scalise.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game|Michael Tomasky|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Nixon said defending the two islands was “a matter of principle.”
And seeing they did not attempt to run away, they made no matter of it, if they stayed two or three days one with the other.
Sometimes the victim and the victimizer meet, the money demanded is paid over, and there the matter ends.
And even if the Germans did conquer Russia, what did it matter?
There came into her heart a longing that Ludwell Cary should see the matter truly.Lewis Rand|Mary Johnston
He had been twice married; his second union, with his niece Martina, was frequently made a matter of reproach to him.
British Dictionary definitions for matter (1 of 4)
- type set up, either standing or for use
- copy to be set in type
- something to be proved
- statements or allegations to be considered by a court
- regardless of; irrespective ofno matter what the excuse, you must not be late
- (sentence substitute) it is unimportant
Word Origin for matter
British Dictionary definitions for matter (2 of 4)
adjective, noun, verb
British Dictionary definitions for matter (3 of 4)
Word Origin for matte
British Dictionary definitions for matter (4 of 4)
Word Origin and History for matter (1 of 4)
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.
Word Origin and History for matter (1 of 4)
"to be of importance or consequence," 1580s, from matter (n.). Related: Mattered; mattering.
Word Origin and History for matter (2 of 4)
"backing for a picture," 1845, from French; see mat (n.2).
Word Origin and History for matter (3 of 4)
variant of mat (n.2).
Medicine definitions for matter
Science definitions for matter
Culture definitions for matter
Idioms and Phrases with matter
In addition to the idioms beginning with matter
- matter of course, a
- matter of fact, a
- matter of life and death, a
- matter of opinion, a
- crux of the matter
- for that matter
- gray matter
- mince matters
- mind over matter
- no joke (laughing matter)
- no matter
- the matter