Definition of material in English:

material

Syllabification: ma·te·ri·al
Pronunciation: /məˈtirēəl
 
/

noun

1The matter from which a thing is or can be made: goats can eat more or less any plant material materials such as brass highly flammable materials
More example sentences
  • Many of the males and a few of the females wear stuff that looks like leather, but most is woven animal fur or plant material of kinds I do not know.
  • It is formed from decomposing underground deposits of organic matter such as decaying plant material.
  • Gas cylinders contain flammable material - the fire extinguishers put out fires.
Synonyms
1.1 (usually materials) Things needed for an activity: cleaning materials
More example sentences
  • Any money given to the project will be used toward the purchase of materials for the above activities.
  • Other icons lead to full construction details plus information about materials and tools.
  • Throwing money and materials and implements at the problem is not dealing with the problem.
Synonyms
constituent, raw material, element, componentthings, items, articles, stuff, necessaries
1.2 [with adjective or noun modifier] A person of a specified quality or suitability: he’s not really Olympic material
More example sentences
  • He is not teller material or bank material for that matter, but he sure makes me laugh.
2Facts, information, or ideas for use in creating a book or other work: there is much good material here for priests to use in sermons
More example sentences
  • Her spiky style and confident handling of the source material creates a book which is more of a literary event than a quiet read.
  • Singletons might use it as a dating agency, novelists as material for a book, market researchers as the easiest way to corner unsuspecting prey.
  • But, after a considerable amount of said hanging about, he accumulated enough material to write a book.
Synonyms
information, data, facts, facts and figures, statistics, evidence, details, particulars, background, notes
informal info, dope, lowdown
2.1Items, especially songs or jokes, comprising a performer’s act: a band playing original material
More example sentences
  • The long-player will mix original material with traditional songs and is due out late next month.
  • The seven-piece outfit perform Tex-Mex classics, Spanish songs and original material.
  • The ensemble often draws its material from narrative folk songs.
3Cloth or fabric: a piece of dark material dress materials
More example sentences
  • She picked out a plain dress of dark green material and a clean loin cloth.
  • He pretended to dust an imaginary piece of lint from the dark material before returning his gaze to the other man.
  • He had a piece of dark material masking his face and was wearing a black, cotton casual jacket.
Synonyms

adjective

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1 [attributive] Denoting or consisting of physical objects rather than the mind or spirit: the material world moral and material support
More example sentences
  • When we turn the page of a book, we're aware of a new yet essentially stable material physical space.
  • In many cases, we look to the exterior values, being physical or of a material nature.
  • It is a human invention or creation not of a physical or material kind but of a purely intellectual and ideational kind.
Synonyms
1.1Concerned with physical needs or desires: material living standards have risen
More example sentences
  • Long before Europeans arrived, it has been suggested, Australia was a prosperous land, with a high material standard of living.
  • Despite the billions he pocketed from running his hedge fund, he maintains greater interest in philosophy than matters material.
  • You are generous and proud in family situations especially regarding material and property matters.
Synonyms
1.2Concerned with the matter of reasoning, not its form: political conflict lacks mathematical or material certitude
More example sentences
  • Synthetic or material a priori truths are not reducible to formal truths.
2Important; essential; relevant: the insects did not do any material damage to the crop
More example sentences
  • We agreed with the firm that in failing to obtain a vet's report, he had breached an important and material condition of the policy.
  • It will give auditors a better understanding of what is of material significance to the banks' regulator.
  • If there's no disputing about taste, there's also no disputing some of the material consequences of taste.
Synonyms
significant, major, important
2.1chiefly Law (Of evidence or a fact) significant, influential, or relevant, especially to the extent of determining a cause or affecting a judgment: information that could be material to a murder inquiry
More example sentences
  • The situation in the crisis alters almost by the hour but as at Wednesday morning I will try and give you an update of matters that are material.
  • In this case the following matters are particularly material.
  • The Defendants had a legitimate interest in drawing attention to matters which were material in one or other of these two statutory purposes.
Synonyms
relevant, pertinent, important, applicable, germane; apropos, to the point; vital, essential, key

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'relating to matter'): from late Latin materialis, adjective from Latin materia 'matter'.

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