Matter
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Matter
See also: Matter and måtter

English

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Etymology

From Middle English matere, mater, from Anglo-Norman matere, materie, from Old French materie, matiere, from Latin materia ("matter, stuff, material"), derivative of Latin mater ("mother").

Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork ("material, matter") (from Old English andweorc ("matter, substance, material")), Old English intinga ("matter, affair, business").

Pronunciation

Noun

matter (countable and uncountable, plural matters)

  1. Substance, material.
    1. (physics) The basic structural component of the universe. Matter usually has mass and volume.
    2. (physics) Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles. (Non-antimatter matter).
    3. A kind of substance.
      vegetable matter
    4. Printed material, especially in books or magazines.
      He always took some reading matter with him on the plane.
    5. (philosophy) Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.
  2. A condition, subject or affair, especially one of concern.
    What's the matter?;   state matters
    • (Can we date this quote by Francis Bacon and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      if the matter should be tried by duel
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Son of God, Saviour of men! Thy name / Shall be the copious matter of my song.
    • Bible, Exodus xviii. 22
      Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; [...] . Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
    • 12 July 2012, Sam Adams, AV Club Ice Age: Continental Drift
      The matter of whether the world needs a fourth Ice Age movie pales beside the question of why there were three before it, but Continental Drift feels less like an extension of a theatrical franchise than an episode of a middling TV cartoon, lolling around on territory that's already been settled.
  3. An approximate amount or extent.
    I stayed for a matter of months.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      No small matter of British forces were commanded over sea the year before.
    • (Can we date this quote by Roger L'Estrange and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Away he goes, [...] a matter of seven miles.
    • (Can we date this quote by William Congreve and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I have thoughts to tarry a small matter.
  4. (obsolete) The essence; the pith; the embodiment.
    • (Can we date this quote by Ben Jonson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He is the matter of virtue.
  5. (obsolete) Inducing cause or reason, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      And this is the matter why interpreters upon that passage in Hosea will not consent it to be a true story, that the prophet took a harlot to wife.
  6. (dated) Pus.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Terms derived from the noun "matter"

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb

matter (third-person singular simple present matters, present participle mattering, simple past and past participle mattered)

  1. (intransitive) To be important. [from 16th c.]
    The only thing that matters to Jim is being rich.
    Sorry for pouring ketchup on your clean white shirt! - Oh, don't worry, it does not matter.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828:
      As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, [...]. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. [...] I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
    • 2011 April 10, Alistair Magowan, "Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle", in BBC Sport:
      Despite further attempts by Agbonlahor and Young, however, they could not find the goal to reward their endeavour.
      It mattered little as Newcastle's challenge faded and Villa began to dominate the game in midfield, and it was only Barton's continued sense of injustice that offered the visitors any spark in a tame contest.
  2. (transitive, in negative constructions, now England regional, Caribbean) To care about, to mind; to find important. [from 17th c.]
  3. (intransitive, medicine, archaic) To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.
    • (Can we date this quote by Sir Philip Sidney and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Each slight sore mattereth.

Derived terms

Synonyms

Translations


French

Verb

matter

  1. Alternative spelling of mater

Conjugation

Anagrams


German

Pronunciation

Adjective

matter

  1. comparative degree of matt
  2. inflection of matt:
    1. strong/mixed nominative masculine singular
    2. strong genitive/dative feminine singular
    3. strong genitive plural

Middle French

Alternative forms

Verb

matter

  1. to checkmate

Conjugation

  • Middle French conjugation varies from one text to another. Hence, the following conjugation should be considered as typical, not as exhaustive.

Norwegian Bokmål

Noun

matter m pl or f pl

  1. indefinite plural of matte (Etymology 1)

Norwegian Nynorsk

Noun

matter f pl

  1. indefinite plural of matte (Etymology 1)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

matter
 



 



 
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