what's the matter

Idioms & Phrases

what's the matter

What is the difficulty or problem? What troubles or ails you? For example, You look upsetwhat'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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: what's the idea
Next Definition: what's up
Words Near: what's the matter
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for what's the matter
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing what's the matter
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature