• (America) IPA: /məˈtɪɹi.əl/
  • (RP) IPA: /məˈtɪəɹɪəl/


  1. Having to do with matter; consisting of matter.
    This compound has a number of interesting material properties.
    • 1913, Alfred Bowyer Sharpe, Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Evil
      the material elements of the universe
  2. Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.
    Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a happy life.
    Antonyms: spiritual
  3. (law, accounting) Significant.
    You've made several material contributions to this project.
    This is the most material fact in this lawsuit.
    • discourse, which was always material, never trifling
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], chapter 2, in An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. […], London: […] Thomas Basset, […], OCLC 153628242 ↗, book I, page 3 ↗:
      I shall, in the account of simple ideas, set down only such as are most material to our present purpose.
    Antonyms: immaterial
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. Matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.
    Asphalt, composed of oil and sand, is a widely used material for roads.
  2. Text written for a specific purpose.
    We were a warm-up act at the time; we didn't have enough original material to headline.
  3. A sample or specimens for study.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get{{...}
  4. Cloth to be made into a garment. fabric#Noun|Fabric.
    You'll need about a yard of material to make this.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. There was a great deal of them, lavish both in material and in workmanship.
  5. The people collectively who are qualified for a certain position or activity.
    boyfriend material, girlfriend material, wifey material
    John Doe is a great governor, and I also believe he is presidential material.
    He is not the only one. I believe we have lots of presidential material in various public offices.
  6. Related data of various kinds, especially if collected as the basis for a document or book.
  7. The substance that something is made or composed of.
  8. (chess) All of a player's pieces and pawns on the chessboard.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

material (materials, present participle materialling; past and past participle materialled)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To form from matter; to materialize.
    • 1643, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
      I believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and is left in the same state after death as before it was materialled unto life.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.004
Offline English dictionary