matter of fact, a


Something that is literally or factually true, as in The records showed it to be a matter of fact that they were married in 1960. This idiom often occurs in the phrase as a matter of fact, as in As a matter of fact, you are absolutely right. Matter of fact was first recorded in 1581, and originally was a legal term distinguishing the facts of a case from the law, called matter of law, applying to it. It began to be applied to other concerns in the late 1600s.

QUIZZES

Can You Ace This Quiz About “Compliment” vs. “Complement”?
Take this quiz to see if you really know the difference between “compliment” and “complement"!
Question 1 of 11
“Compliment” and “complement” had a shared meaning a long time ago, but today they are no longer interchangeable.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.