[mat-er-uh v-fakt]


adhering strictly to fact; not imaginative; prosaic; dry; commonplace: a matter-of-fact account of the political rally.
direct or unemotional; straightforward; down-to-earth.

Origin of matter-of-fact

First recorded in 1705–15
Related formsmat·ter-of-fact·ly, adverbmat·ter-of-fact·ness, noun

matter of fact


something of a factual nature, as an actual occurrence.
Law. a statement or allegation to be judged on the basis of the evidence.

Origin of matter of fact

First recorded in 1575–85 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for matter-of-fact

Contemporary Examples of matter-of-fact

Historical Examples of matter-of-fact

  • And really they're the most unemotional and matter-of-fact couple I ever saw.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "I married your son this morning," she said in a matter-of-fact tone.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "And, while the two of you were talking," Demarest continued in a matter-of-fact manner.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Her tones as she spoke were quite as matter-of-fact as his own had been.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "They needed 'er theirselves," explained the mate in a matter-of-fact way.

British Dictionary definitions for matter-of-fact

matter of fact


a fact that is undeniably true
law a statement of facts the truth of which the court must determine on the basis of the evidence before itCompare matter of law
philosophy a proposition that is amenable to empirical testing, as contrasted with the truths of logic or mathematics
as a matter of fact actually; in fact

adjective matter-of-fact

unimaginative or emotionlesshe gave a matter-of-fact account of the murder
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 matter-of-fact

also matter of fact, 1570s as a noun, originally a legal term (translating Latin res facti), "that portion of an enquiry concerned with the truth or falsehood of alleged facts," opposed to matter of law. As an adjective from 1712. Meaning "prosaic, unimaginative" is from 1787. Related: Matter-of-factly; matter-of-factness. German Tatsache is said to be a loan-translation of the English word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper