Meaning of matter

mat•ter

Pronunciation: (mat'ur), [key]
— n.
  1. the substance or substances of which any physical object consists or is composed: the matter of which the earth is made.
  2. physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, esp. as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
  3. something that occupies space.
  4. a particular kind of substance: coloring matter.
  5. a situation, state, affair, or business: a trivial matter.
  6. an amount or extent reckoned approximately: a matter of 10 miles.
  7. something of consequence: matter for serious thought.
  8. importance or significance: decisions of little matter.
  9. difficulty; trouble (usually prec. by the): There is something the matter.
  10. ground, reason, or cause: a matter for complaint.
  11. the material or substance of a discourse, book, etc., often as distinguished from its form.
  12. things put down in words, esp. printed: reading matter.
  13. things sent by mail: postal matter.
  14. a substance discharged by a living body, esp. pus.
    1. that which by integrative organization forms chemical substances and living things.
    2. Aristotelianism.that which relates to form as potentiality does to actuality.
  15. statement or allegation.
    1. material for work; copy.
    2. type set up.
  16. the concept of substance shaped by the limitations of the human mind.
  17. something of vital or crucial importance.
  18. in reality; actually; in fact: As a matter of fact, there is no substance to that rumor.
  19. as far as that is concerned; as for that: For that matter, you are no better qualified to judge than I.
  20. We'll never finish on time, no matter how hard we work.
    1. regardless or irrespective of:We'll never finish on time, no matter how hard we work.
    2. it is unimportant; it makes no difference:No matter, this string will do as well as any other.
—v.i.
  1. to be of importance; signify: It matters little.
  2. to suppurate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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