matter of fact, a

Idioms & Phrases

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 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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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