- 1 [mass noun] Physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy: the structure and properties of matterMore example sentences
- In general, the distinction between matter and antimatter is somewhat arbitrary.
- Einstein described what we call gravity as curves in space and time, created by matter and energy.
- As a result, the energy exchange between matter and radiation becomes less efficient.
- 1.1 [usually with adjective] A particular substance: organic matter faecal matterMore example sentences
- Students of a nearby school found poisonous organic matter in water samples they studied.
- It can be discounted here because of the absence of clay minerals and organic matter in freshly erupted ash.
- If your soil is high in clay or sand, add organic matter to break up clay particles for better drainage.
- 1.2Written or printed material: reading matterMore example sentences
- Reading matter is transcribed into Braille for her, and she also uses audiotapes.
- One certainty is that you will not fill the void with personal jottings or reading matter.
- Any course on psychotherapy should include this book as additional reading matter.
- 2A subject or situation under consideration: a great deal of work was done on this matter financial mattersMore example sentences
- A brief consideration of the matter shows that it is a serious situation.
- A Scottish Executive spokesman said matters arising from the inquiry were a matter for the Crown Office.
- All the above noted issues are matters for discussion and consideration.
- 2.1 Law Something which is to be tried or proved in court; a case.More example sentences
- Accordingly the Full Court ordered that the matter be remitted to the primary judge.
- By the time the matter came before the Court of Appeal, in December 2000, the Act had come into force.
- This, assuming he is honest and vigilant, he should be able to do, at any rate when the matter comes before the court.
- 2.2 (matters) The present state of affairs: we can do nothing to change mattersMore example sentences
- His defence of spin is not unreasonable: of course politicians do what they can to present matters in the light that reflects best on them.
- It has to be said that this was a very poor affair and to make matters even worse from a Johnville point of view, they lost the game.
- To make matters worse, our affair had been common knowledge amongst most members of her family.
- 2.3The substance or content of a text as distinct from its style or form.
- 3 [with negative or in questions] (the matter) The reason for distress or a problem: what’s the matter?More example sentences
- Two years ago I would have wondered what was the matter with the dog.
- What is the matter with this man and his brain-to-mouth impediment?
- If you do not find him funny there is something the matter with you.
verb[no object] Back to top
- 1 [usually with negative or in questions] Be important or significant: it doesn’t matter what the guests wear what did it matter to them?More example sentences
- Material things are not important and don't matter to us anymore.
- I don't think it mattered to him and I suspect it didn't matter to most of the audience.
- Things that used to matter to her before didn't matter now that she had this.
for that matter
- Used to indicate that a subject, though mentioned second, is as relevant as the first: I am not sure what value it adds to determining public, or for that matter private, policyMore example sentences
- What does it mean to have a professional life or a private life for that matter?
- In my day we never dreamed of billing and cooing in public, or in private for that matter.
- What effect did it have on the scholars around the world, and for that matter, the public?
in the matter of
- As regards: the British are given pre-eminence in the matter of teaMore example sentences
- To her further credit, she has also agreed to let sanity be our guide in the matter of whether a medium-sized family suitcase is any place for a surfboard.
- It has also proved unfair to women, leaving out choice in the matter of reproductive rights.
- I believe this is precisely the case in the matter of whether or not to extend the arm before the lunge, as it is in so many others.
it is only a matter of time
- There will not be long to wait: it’s only a matter of time before the general is removedMore example sentences
- I think it is only a matter of time with Michael, but we can't wait on that.
- But barring ill health on his part, it is only a matter of time until he becomes chairman.
- All products are merged into one another, and it is only a matter of time before it is out of your control and there is one single super-product left.
a matter of
- 1No more than (a specified period of time): they were shown the door in a matter of minutesMore example sentences
- Some cab customers may think it's just a matter of luck that a driver is at their door in a matter of minutes.
- Then, if an unexpected caller knocks at the door, the resident is able to summon help in a matter of minutes.
- It was getting towards sun down, and she reached her apartment in a matter of 25 minutes.
- 2A thing that involves or depends on: it’s a matter of working out how to get something doneMore example sentences
- It's a matter of all the players involved in the club progressing on from last year.
- Whether his political standpoint is your cup of tea is a matter of choice.
- Tea terminology is a matter of concern to tea drinkers and also to cooks who are using tea as a flavouring.
- 3 (a matter of/for) Something that evokes (a specified feeling): it’s a matter of complete indifference to meMore example sentences
- If Australia somehow pull off victory this week, it should not be a matter for national mourning.
- The nature of their current relationship must remain a matter for conjecture.
- I think that perhaps the best way for me to cope with being over-weight is to make it a matter for jollity.
a matter of course
- The usual or expected thing: the reports are published as a matter of courseMore example sentences
- It is expected the medal will be issued as a matter of course, and it's unlikely serving members will be required to apply for it.
- Sponsors want a return on their investment and visual awareness, through branding, is a matter of course.
- Shouting as others talk is a matter of course, and as long as you don't use the word liar it seems that you can say pretty much anything.
a matter of form
- A point of correct procedure: they must as a matter of proper form check to see that there is no tax liabilityMore example sentences
- Up to now I always took such statements as being a matter of form, something that judges say as a way of consoling those who didn't win.
- If he is a just man who protects the poor he will be popular and will not need an electoral mandate, except as a matter of form.
- Your Honour, the only other matter is that, as a matter of form, I submit, the condition should be against the Commonwealth, rather than the Attorney.
a matter of record
- see record.
- 1 [with clause] Regardless of: no matter what the government calls them, they are cutsMore example sentences
- The human spirit is basically the same no matter what area of the world you are in or come from.
- She would never turn her back on me, no matter what I did, and it's the same for me.
- You don't have to take every call at any time, no matter how important you may wish to look.
to make matters worse
- With the result that a bad situation is made worse: to make matters worse, free school meals have been withdrawnMore example sentences
- And to make matters worse, the bloody landlord won't turn on the heat.
- And to make matters worse, there may be a lengthy struggle to win redundancy cash for employees.
- And to make matters worse, when I got in there, he was standing there!
Middle English: via Old French from Latin materia 'timber, substance', also 'subject of discourse', from mater 'mother'.