Definition of immaterial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌi(m)məˈtirēəl/


1Unimportant under the circumstances; irrelevant: so long as the band kept the beat, what they played was immaterial
More example sentences
  • So the government says this is all irrelevant and immaterial.
  • Nonetheless, I do not think we can simply write off as immaterial or irrelevant the views expressed by my interlocutor.
  • Therefore, while regrettable, the omission in my view is immaterial in these circumstances.
irrelevant, unimportant, inconsequential, insignificant, of no matter/consequence, of little account, beside the point, neither here nor there
2 Philosophy Spiritual, rather than physical: we have immaterial souls
More example sentences
  • For fear of saying such things, people in the past invented the notion of an immaterial soul, but Schopenhauer will have none of that.
  • Epicurus rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul, and he said that the gods have no influence on our lives.
  • Even if immaterial souls do not exist, there is good reason not to identify the deaths of people with the deaths of their bodies.
intangible, incorporeal, bodiless, disembodied, impalpable, ethereal, insubstantial, metaphysical;
spiritual, unearthly, supernatural


Immaterial and irrelevant are familiar in legal, especially courtroom, use. Immaterial means ‘unimportant because not adding anything to the point.’ Irrelevant, a much more common word, means ‘beside the point, not speaking to the point.’ Courts have long ceased to demand precise distinctions, and evidence is often objected to as “immaterial, irrelevant, and incompetent (‘offered by a witness who is not qualified to offer it’).”.



Pronunciation: /ˌi(m)məˌtirēˈalədē/
Example sentences
  • ‘The immateriality of electronic texts is unsettling, a turn-off.’
  • ‘The paintings are constantly changing in different light conditions, effecting a fluctuation between materiality and immateriality,’ she adds.
  • Once again matter has disappeared, this time giving way to the immateriality of communication, where everything is discourse and discourse is everything.


Example sentences
  • It can be manipulated as a form of cultural authenticity working materially through both artefacts and their documentation, and immaterially through their connection to local practices.
  • Your Honours, that is enough, we hope, to illustrate that 11A and 30B cannot be regarded as immaterially different; they are materially different.
  • However, I think the fact that I was teaching aikido was contributing greatly to my company, and also in a broader sense both materially and immaterially to my country.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from late Latin immaterialis, from in- 'not' + materialis 'relating to matter'.

Words that rhyme with immaterial

arterial, bacterial, cereal, criterial, ethereal, ferial, funereal, imperial, magisterial, managerial, material, ministerial, presbyterial, serial, sidereal, venereal, biomaterial

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: im·ma·te·ri·al

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