[[t]ˈmæt ər[/t]] n.
1) the substance of which any physical object consists or is composed
2) phs physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, esp. 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[/ex]
5) a situation; affair:
a trivial matter[/ex]
6) an amount or extent reckoned approximately:
a matter of 10 miles[/ex]
7) importance; significance:
decisions of little matter[/ex]
8) reason; cause:
a matter for complaint[/ex]
9) the substance of discourse or writing
10) something written or printed:
reading matter[/ex]
11) things sent by mail
12) pat a substance discharged by a living body, esp. pus
13) pho that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality
14) to be of importance; signify:
It matters to me[/ex]
15) pat to suppurate
16) to be the matter, to be a source of concern; be amiss or awry:
What's the matter? Something's the matter[/ex]
Etymology: 1175–1225; ME mater(e), materie < AF, OF mat(i) ere, materie < L māteria woody part of a tree, material, substance, der. of māter mother I mat′ter•ful, adj. mat′ter•less, adj. syn: matter, material, stuff, substance refer to that of which physical objects are composed. matter applies to anything occupying space and perceptible to the senses; it may denote a particular kind: solid matter; vegetable matter. material refers to a definite kind of matter, esp. that used to manufacture or construct something: woolen material; building materials. stuff is an informal term that applies to the basic material of which something is made; it may also denote an unspecified kind of material: Do you have the stuff to make the rug? substance is usu. a definite kind of matter thought of in relation to its characteristic properties: a sticky substance. These terms are also used abstractly, esp. with reference to thought or expression: controversial matter; material for a novel; the stuff of dreams; the substance of a speech.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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  • Matter — Mat ter, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Mattered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Mattering}.] 1. To be of importance; to import; to signify. [1913 Webster] It matters not how they were called. Locke. [1913 Webster] 2. To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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