the substance or substances of which a thing is made or composed: Stone is a durable material.
anything that serves as crude or raw matter to be used or developed: Wood pulp is the raw material from which paper is made.
any constituent element.
a textile fabric: material for a dress.
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.
materials, the articles or apparatus needed to make or do something: writing materials.
a person considered as having qualities suited to a particular sphere of activity: The boy's teachers did not think he was college material.
formed or consisting of matter; physical; corporeal: the material world.
relating to, concerned with, or involving matter: material forces.
pertaining to the physical rather than the spiritual or intellectual aspect of things: material comforts.
pertaining to or characterized by an undue interest in corporeal things; unspiritual.
of substantial import; of much consequence; important: Your support will make a material difference in the success of our program.
pertinent or essential (usually followed by to ): a question not material to the subject at hand.
Law. likely to influence the determination of a case: material evidence.
Philosophy. of or pertaining to matter as distinguished from form.

1300–50; Middle English < Late Latin māteriālis of, belonging to matter. See matter, -al1

materialness, noun
prematerial, adjective
quasi-material, adjective
quasi-materially, adverb
supermaterial, noun
transmaterial, adjective
unmaterial, adjective
unmaterially, adverb

material, matériel.

12. essential, vital.

8. incorporeal. 12. unimportant.

1. See matter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
material (məˈtɪərɪəl)
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
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
[C14: via French from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteriamatter]

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

late 14c. (adj.) "pertaining to matter," a term in scholastic philosophy and theology, from L.L. materialis (adj.) "of or belonging to matter," from L. materia "matter, stuff, wood, timber" (see matter). The noun is attested from 1550s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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