Materiality is the quality of a physical substance that you can actually feel. Seeing a fluffy beanbag chair online is one thing, but in-person, you can appreciate its materiality.

Materiality is a complicated word with several definitions. One way to think of it is as "the quality of consisting of matter." Architects talk about the materiality of actual buildings constructed with materials (rather than images rendered on a computer). When anthropologists discuss the materiality of artifacts, they're talking about their physical properties. In law, on the other hand, materiality means "relevance" or "importance" — in other words, how much something matters.

Definitions of materiality
  1. noun
    the quality of being physical; consisting of matter
    synonyms: corporality, corporeality, physicalness
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    immateriality, incorporeality
    the quality of not being physical; not consisting of matter
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    the quality of being concrete (not abstract)
    palpability, tangibility, tangibleness
    the quality of being perceivable by touch
    solidness, substantiality, substantialness
    the quality of being substantial or having substance
    the quality possessed by something that is real
    adhereing to the concrete construal of something
    type of:
    an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone
  2. noun
    relevance requiring careful consideration
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    complete irrelevance requiring no further consideration
    type of:
    relevance, relevancy
    the relation of something to the matter at hand
Word Family

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