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material

[muh-teer-ee-uh l] /məˈtɪər i əl/
noun
1.
the substance or substances of which a thing is made or composed:
Stone is a durable material.
2.
anything that serves as crude or raw matter to be used or developed:
Wood pulp is the raw material from which paper is made.
3.
any constituent element.
4.
a textile fabric:
material for a dress.
5.
a group of ideas, facts, data, etc., that may provide the basis for or be incorporated into some integrated work:
to gather material for a history of North Carolina; to write material for a comedy show.
6.
materials, the articles or apparatus needed to make or do something:
writing materials.
7.
a person considered as having qualities suited to a particular sphere of activity:
The boy's teachers did not think he was college material.
adjective
8.
formed or consisting of matter; physical; corporeal:
the material world.
9.
relating to, concerned with, or involving matter:
material forces.
10.
pertaining to the physical rather than the spiritual or intellectual aspect of things:
material comforts.
11.
pertaining to or characterized by an undue interest in corporeal things; unspiritual.
12.
of substantial import; of much consequence; important:
Your support will make a material difference in the success of our program.
13.
pertinent or essential (usually followed by to):
a question not material to the subject at hand.
14.
Law. likely to influence the determination of a case:
material evidence.
15.
Philosophy. of or relating to matter as distinguished from form.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin māteriālis of, belonging to matter. See matter, -al1
Related forms
materialness, noun
prematerial, adjective
quasi-material, adjective
quasi-materially, adverb
supermaterial, noun
transmaterial, adjective
unmaterial, adjective
unmaterially, adverb
Can be confused
material, matériel.
Synonyms
12. essential, vital.
Antonyms
8. incorporeal. 12. unimportant.
Synonym Study
1. See matter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for materials
  • In this family workshop, learn how to recycle paper and other materials to make gifts.
  • Scientists think these materials work by overloading sharks' senses.
  • Some materials-diamagnetic materials-are repelled by a magnetic field.
  • In the last years there have been a series of great new textile materials that made our jobs easier.
  • Some people believe that the materials put steel cooking are best for cooking.
  • We provide exhibits and research materials related to local history.
  • Scientists who want manipulate the properties of certain materials work with nano-scale patterns printed with those materials.
  • It is an art of negotiating how to get my hands on so much of these materials that are in people's lives.
  • The terrific noise it emitted was an explosion which made it erupt several fragments of volcanic materials.
  • The second is declining water quality, caused by toxic materials and fertilizers that run off the land.
British Dictionary definitions for materials

materials

/məˈtɪərɪəlz/
plural noun
1.
the equipment necessary for a particular activity

material

/məˈtɪərɪəl/
noun
1.
the substance of which a thing is made or composed; component or constituent matter: raw material
2.
facts, notes, etc, that a finished work may be based on or derived from: enough material for a book
3.
cloth or fabric
4.
a person who has qualities suitable for a given occupation, training, etc: that boy is not university material
adjective
5.
of, relating to, or composed of physical substance; corporeal
6.
(philosophy) composed of or relating to physical as opposed to mental or spiritual substance: the material world
7.
of, relating to, or affecting economic or physical wellbeing: material ease
8.
of or concerned with physical rather than spiritual interests
9.
of great import or consequence: of material benefit to the workers
10.
(often foll by to) relevant
11.
(philosophy) of or relating to matter as opposed to form
12.
(law) relevant to the issue before court: applied esp to facts or testimony of much significance: a material witness
See also materials
Derived Forms
materialness, noun
Word Origin
C14: via French from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteriamatter
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
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Word Origin and History for materials

material

adj.

mid-14c., "real, ordinary; earthly, drawn from the material world;" a term in scholastic philosophy and theology, from Old French material, materiel (14c.) and directly from Late Latin materialis (adj.) "of or belonging to matter," from Latin materia "matter, stuff, wood, timber" (see matter). From late 14c. as "made of matter, having material existence; material, physical, substantial;" from late 15c. as "important, relevant."

n.

late 14c., "substance, matter from which a thing is made," from material (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
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