matters; mattered; mattering

Matter is everywhere: anything that has mass and takes up space is matter. Air? Donuts? People? Buildings? Melted butter? All of these, and much, much more, are matter.

Other kinds of matter don't have a physical form, like a concern, problem, or even something that people think about, like a worrisome money matter, a personal matter, or a movie with a particular subject matter. Matter can also be a verb, meaning "to be important," as in: "Good health matters to me."

Definitions of matter
  1. noun
    that which has mass and occupies space
    “physicists study both the nature of matter and the forces which govern it”
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    the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists
    a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties
    deposit, sediment
    matter that has been deposited by some natural process
    (cosmology) the original matter that (according to the big bang theory) existed before the formation of the chemical elements
    dark matter
    (cosmology) a hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up 90 percent of the universe; it is invisible (does not absorb or emit light) and does not collide with atomic particles but exerts gravitational force
    matter consisting of elementary particles that are the antiparticles of those making up normal substances
    any gummy shapeless matter; usually unpleasant
    continuous amorphous matter that tends to flow and to conform to the outline of its container: a liquid or a gas
    goo, gook, goop, guck, gunk, muck, ooze, slime, sludge
    any thick, viscous matter
    (physical chemistry) a sample of matter in which substances in different phases are in equilibrium
    matter that remains after something has been removed
    matter that is solid at room temperature and pressure
    the dissolved matter in a solution; the component of a solution that changes its state
    something that is emitted or radiated (as a gas or an odor or a light, etc.)
    vegetable matter
    matter produced by plants or growing in the manner of a plant
    food, nutrient
    any substance that can be metabolized by an animal to give energy and build tissue
    any substance (such as a chemical element or inorganic compound) that can be taken in by a green plant and used in organic synthesis
    body substance
    the substance of the body
    living substance, protoplasm
    the substance of a living cell (including cytoplasm and nucleus)
    food, solid food
    any solid substance (as opposed to liquid) that is used as a source of nourishment
    alluvial deposit, alluvial sediment, alluvion, alluvium
    clay or silt or gravel carried by rushing streams and deposited where the stream slows down
    dregs, settlings
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    the sediment from fermentation of an alcoholic beverage
    lick, salt lick
    a salt deposit that animals regularly lick
    the chemical composition and properties of a substance or object
    material, stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
    elixir, philosopher's stone, philosophers' stone
    hypothetical substance that the alchemists believed to be capable of changing base metals into gold
    a hypothetical substance once believed to be present in all combustible materials and to be released during burning
    any substance that can cause an allergy
    a substance that is undergoing an analysis of its components
    pyrectic, pyrogen
    any substance that can cause a rise in body temperature
    any substance characterized by its great flammability
    (chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)
    a substance that forms a gel with water
    a precipitated solid substance in suspension or after settling or filtering
    generic name for certain synthetic or semisynthetic materials that can be molded or extruded into objects or films or filaments or used for making e.g. coatings and adhesives
    adulterant, adulterator
    any substance that lessens the purity or effectiveness of a substance
    (physics and chemistry) the smallest component of an element having the chemical properties of the element
    chemical element, element
    any of the more than 100 known substances (of which 92 occur naturally) that cannot be separated into simpler substances and that singly or in combination constitute all matter
    crackling, greaves
    the residue that remains after animal fat has been rendered
    partially carbonized vegetable matter saturated with water; can be used as a fuel when dried
    propellant, propellent
    any substance that propels
    any substance that serves as a denaturing agent
    (biology) any agency bringing about activation; a molecule that increases the activity of an enzyme or a protein that increases the production of a gene product in DNA transcription
    a substance that retards or stops an activity
    a substance capable of bringing about fermentation
    the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment
    the residue that remains when something is burned
    a substance that exerts some force or effect
    any substance that produces cancer
    fossil fuel consisting of carbonized vegetable matter deposited in the Carboniferous period
    cotton cake, cottonseed cake
    the solid matter remaining after oil has been pressed from cottonseeds
    any substance that promotes digestion
    the residue of partially burnt tobacco left caked in the bowl of a pipe after smoking
    one of four substances thought in ancient and medieval cosmology to constitute the physical universe
    a substance used as a warm moist medicinal compress or poultice
    a substance that can be consumed to produce energy
    a fluid in the gaseous state having neither independent shape nor volume and being able to expand indefinitely
    a brittle transparent solid with irregular atomic structure
    a solid formed by the solidification of a chemical and having a highly regular atomic structure
    lube, lubricant, lubricating substance, lubricator
    a substance capable of reducing friction by making surfaces smooth or slippery
    an intervening substance through which something is achieved
    (biology) a substance in which specimens are preserved or displayed
    any substance that is added to another substance to keep it moist
    inoculant, inoculum
    a substance (a virus or toxin or immune serum) that is introduced into the body to produce or increase immunity to a particular disease
    any substance having the consistency of jelly or gelatin
    leaven, leavening
    a substance used to produce fermentation in dough or a liquid
    a substance that is fluid at room temperature and pressure
    fluid matter having no fixed shape but a fixed volume
    sludge (rich in organic matter) that accumulates at the bottom of lakes or oceans
    powder, pulverisation, pulverization
    a solid substance in the form of tiny loose particles; a solid that has been pulverized
    any substance used to provide cooling (as in a refrigerator)
    the sediment that is left after the evaporation of seawater
    any substance (such as an antibody) or agent that can cause lysis
    poison, poisonous substance, toxicant
    any substance that causes injury or illness or death of a living organism
    chemical irritant
    a substance producing irritation
    any substance (as a toxin or enzyme) that stimulates an immune response in the body (especially the production of antibodies)
    dry ice
    solidified carbon dioxide; dry ice sublimates at -78.5 C and is used mainly as a refrigerant
    a volatile substance; a substance that changes readily from solid or liquid to a vapor
    (spiritualism) a substance supposed to emanate from the body of the medium during a trance
    any substance possessing to a high degree the predominant properties of a plant or drug or other natural product from which it is extracted
    a substance (an atom or molecule or radical or ion) that forms a complex around a central atom
    any substance involved in metabolism (either as a product of metabolism or as necessary for metabolism)
    any substance that facilitates the use of a drug or pigment or other material that is mixed with it
    a vitrified substance; the glassy result of being vitrified
    type of:
    physical entity
    an entity that has physical existence
  2. noun
    some situation or event that is thought about
    “it is a matter for the police”
    synonyms: issue, subject, topic
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    a subject of study
    blind spot
    a subject about which you are ignorant or prejudiced and fail to exercise good judgment
    the topic that a person, committee, or piece of research is expected to deal with or has authority to deal with
    res adjudicata, res judicata
    a matter already settled in court; cannot be raised again
    gray area, grey area
    an intermediate area; a topic that is not clearly one thing or the other
    an area of knowledge or interest
    type of:
    cognitive content, content, mental object
    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
  3. noun
    a vaguely specified concern
    “several matters to attend to”
    synonyms: affair, thing
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    something that is of no importance
    type of:
    something that interests you because it is important or affects you
  4. noun
    a problem
    “is anything the matter?”
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    type of:
    problem, trouble
    a source of difficulty
  5. noun
    (used with negation) having consequence
    “they were friends and it was no matter who won the games”
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    type of:
    consequence, import, moment
    having important effects or influence
  6. noun
    written works (especially in books or magazines)
    “he always took some reading matter with him on the plane”
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    matter that has been dictated and transcribed; a dictated passage
    text, textual matter
    the words of something written
    the main body of a written work (as distinct from illustrations or footnotes etc.)
    typewritten matter especially a typewritten copy of a manuscript
    front matter, prelims
    written matter preceding the main text of a book
    back matter, end matter
    written matter following the main text of a book
    soft copy
    (computer science) matter that is in a form that a computer can store or display it on a computer screen
    hard copy
    (computer science) matter that is held in a computer and is typed or printed on paper
    addendum, postscript, supplement
    textual matter that is added onto a publication; usually at the end
    written matter that is recited from memory
    a page or text that is vertically divided
    a short line of text that a web site puts on your computer's hard drive when you access the web site
    copy, written matter
    matter to be printed; exclusive of graphical materials
    draft, draft copy
    any of the various versions in the development of a written work
    electronic text
    text that is in a form that computer can store or display on a computer screen
    installment, instalment
    a part of a published serial
    supplementary material that is collected and appended at the back of a book
    continuation, sequel
    a part added to a book or play that continues and extends it
    letter, missive
    a written message addressed to a person or organization
    text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen
    a text that excludes a particular letter or particular letters of the alphabet
    language, lyric, words
    the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number
    a fixed number of lines of verse forming a unit of a poem
    type of:
    piece of writing, writing, written material
    the work of a writer; anything expressed in letters of the alphabet (especially when considered from the point of view of style and effect)
  7. verb
    have weight; have import, carry weight
    “It does not matter much”
    synonyms: count, weigh
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    press, weigh
    to be oppressive or burdensome
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘matter'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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