the matter

matter

[mat-er]
noun
1.
the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
2.
physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
3.
something that occupies space.
4.
a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
5.
a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter.
6.
an amount or extent reckoned approximately: a matter of 10 miles.
7.
something of consequence: matter for serious thought.
8.
importance or significance: decisions of little matter.
9.
difficulty; trouble (usually preceded by the ): There is something the matter.
10.
ground, reason, or cause: a matter for complaint.
11.
the material or substance of a discourse, book, etc., often as distinguished from its form.
12.
things put down in words, especially printed: reading matter.
13.
things sent by mail: postal matter.
14.
a substance discharged by a living body, especially pus.
15.
Philosophy.
a.
that which by integrative organization forms chemical substances and living things.
b.
Aristotelianism. that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality.
16.
Law. statement or allegation.
17.
Printing.
a.
material for work; copy.
b.
type set up.
18.
Christian Science. the concept of substance shaped by the limitations of the human mind.
verb (used without object)
19.
to be of importance; signify: It matters little.
20.
Pathology. to suppurate.
Idioms
21.
a matter of life and death, something of vital or crucial importance.
22.
as a matter of fact, in reality; actually; in fact: As a matter of fact, there is no substance to that rumor.
23.
for that matter, as far as that is concerned; as for that: For that matter, you are no better qualified to judge than I. Also, for the matter of that.
24.
no matter,
a.
regardless or irrespective of: We'll never finish on time, no matter how hard we work.
b.
it is unimportant; it makes no difference: No matter, this string will do as well as any other.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English mater(e), materie < Anglo-French, Old French mat(i)ere, materie < Latin māteria woody part of a tree, material, substance, derivative of māter mother1

matterful, adjective
matterless, adjective
nonmatter, noun

madder, matter.


5. question. 7. concern. 8. moment. 11. subject, topic. 19. count.


1. Matter, material, stuff, substance refer to that of which physical objects are composed (though all these terms are also used abstractly). Matter, as distinct from mind and spirit, is a broad word that applies to anything perceived, or known to be occupying space: solid matter; gaseous matter. Material usually means some definite kind, quality, or quantity of matter, especially as intended for use: woolen material; a house built of good materials. Stuff, a less technical word, with approximately the same meanings as material, is characterized by being on an informal level when it refers to physical objects (Dynamite is queer stuff), and on a literary or poetic one when it is used abstractly (the stuff that dreams are made on). Substance is the matter that composes a thing, thought of in relation to its essential properties: a sticky substance.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
matter (ˈmætə)
 
n (sometimes foll by of or for)
1.  that which makes up something, esp a physical object; material
2.  substance that occupies space and has mass, as distinguished from substance that is mental, spiritual, etc
3.  substance of a specified type: vegetable matter; reading matter
4.  thing; affair; concern; question: a matter of taste; several matters to attend to; no laughing matter
5.  a quantity or amount: a matter of a few pence
6.  the content of written or verbal material as distinct from its style or form
7.  (used with a negative) importance; consequence
8.  philosophy (in the writings of Aristotle and the Scholastics) that which is itself formless but can receive form and become substance
9.  philosophy (in the Cartesian tradition) one of two basic modes of existence, the other being mind: matter being extended in space as well as time
10.  printing
 a.  type set up, either standing or for use
 b.  copy to be set in type
11.  a secretion or discharge, such as pus
12.  law
 a.  something to be proved
 b.  statements or allegations to be considered by a court
13.  for that matter as regards that
14.  See grey matter
15.  no matter
 a.  regardless of; irrespective of: no matter what the excuse, you must not be late
 b.  (sentence substitute) it is unimportant
16.  the matter wrong; the trouble: there's nothing the matter
 
vb
17.  to be of consequence or importance
18.  to form and discharge pus
 
[C13 (n), C16 (vb): from Latin māteria cause, substance, esp wood, or a substance that produces something else; related to māter mother]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

matter
c.1300, "material of thought, speech, or expression," from Anglo-Norm. matere, from L. materia "substance from which something is made," also "hard inner wood of a tree" (cf. Port. madeira "wood"), perhaps from mater "origin, source, mother." Or, on another theory, it represents *dmateria, from PIE root
*dem-/*dom- (cf. L. domus "house," Eng. timber). With sense development influenced by Gk. hyle, of which it was the equivalent in philosophy. Meaning "substance of which physical objects are made" is attested from mid-14c. That of "grounds, reason, or cause for something" also is first recorded mid-14c. The verb meaning "to be of importance or consequence" is from 1580s. What is the matter "what concerns (someone)" is attested from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

matter mat·ter (māt'ər)
n.

  1. Something that occupies space and can be perceived by one or more senses.

  2. A specific type of substance.

  3. Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
matter  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (māt'ər)  Pronunciation Key 
Something that has mass. Most of the matter in the universe is composed of atoms which are themselves composed of subatomic particles. See also energy, state of matter.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

matter definition


In physics, something that has mass and is distinct from energy. (See phases of matter.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

the matter

see what's the matter.

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