Dictionary.com

what's the matter

Save This Word!

What is the difficulty or problem? What troubles or ails you? For example, You look upset—what's the matter? or Can you tell me what's the matter with my car? This idiom uses matter in the sense of “the essence of something,” in this case a problem. It was first recorded in 1469. Also see what's with.

QUIZZES

DO A DOUBLE TAKE ON THIS QUIZ ON CONTRONYMS

Look both ways before you take this quiz on contronyms, or words that can have opposite meanings.
Question 1 of 7
Choose the sentence that uses "rent" correctly.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Example sentences from the Web for what's the matter

FEEDBACK