• Now, Mum! What's the matter
    Now, Mum! What's the matter
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v matter have weight; have import, carry weight "It does not matter much"
    • n matter that which has mass and occupies space "physicists study both the nature of matter and the forces which govern it"
    • n matter (used with negation) having consequence "they were friends and it was no matter who won the games"
    • n matter a vaguely specified concern "several matters to attend to","it is none of your affair","things are going well"
    • n matter a problem "is anything the matter?"
    • n matter some situation or event that is thought about "he kept drifting off the topic","he had been thinking about the subject for several years","it is a matter for the police"
    • n matter written works (especially in books or magazines) "he always took some reading matter with him on the plane"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Something the Matter With This 'ere Terbacker 017 Something the Matter With This 'ere Terbacker 017
What is the Matter? asked the Old Woman What is the Matter? asked the Old Woman
What's the matter, Sandy What's the matter, Sandy
When I come to think the matter over in cold blood When I come to think the matter over in cold blood

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In Baltimore, it is illegal to wash or scrub sinks no matter how dirty they get.
    • Matter Affair worthy of account; thing of consequence; importance; significance; moment; -- chiefly in the phrases what matter? no matter, and the like. "A prophet some, and some a poet, cry;
      No matter which, so neither of them lie."
    • Matter Amount; quantity; portion; space; -- often indefinite. "Away he goes, . . . a matter of seven miles.""I have thoughts to tarry a small matter .""No small matter of British forces were commanded over sea the year before."
    • Matter Inducing cause or occasion, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing; difficulty; trouble. "And this is the matter why interpreters upon that passage in Hosea will not consent it to be a true story, that the prophet took a harlot to wife."
    • Matter Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess; pus; purulent substance.
    • Matter That of which anything is composed; constituent substance; material; the material or substantial part of anything; the constituent elements of conception; that into which a notion may be analyzed; the essence; the pith; the embodiment. "He is the matter of virtue."
    • Matter That of which the sensible universe and all existent bodies are composed; anything which has extension, occupies space, or is perceptible by the senses; body; substance.
    • Matter (Metaph) That which is permanent, or is supposed to be given, and in or upon which changes are effected by psychological or physical processes and relations; -- opposed to form.
    • Matter That which one has to treat, or with which one has to do; concern; affair; business. "To help the matter , the alchemists call in many vanities out of astrology.""Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice."
    • Matter That with regard to, or about which, anything takes place or is done; the thing aimed at, treated of, or treated; subject of action, discussion, consideration, feeling, complaint, legal action, or the like; theme. "If the matter should be tried by duel.""Son of God, Savior of men! Thy name
      Shall be the copious matter of my song."
      "Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge."
    • Matter To be of importance; to import; to signify. "It matters not how they were called."
    • Matter To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate. "Each slight sore mattereth ."
    • v. t Matter To regard as important; to take account of; to care for. "He did not matter cold nor hunger."
    • Matter (Print) Written manuscript, or anything to be set in type; copy; also, type set up and ready to be used, or which has been used, in printing. "Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter , equal in foot."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Men's three pound is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter known in the universe.
    • n matter Sensible substance; that which offers resistance to touch or muscular effort; that which can be moved, strained, broken, comminuted, or otherwise modified, but which cannot be destroyed or produced; that which reacts against forces, is permanent, and preserves its identity under all changes. Matter has three states of aggregation, the solid, the liquid, and the gas eous. See solid, liquid, gas, and ether.
    • n matter In philosophy: That which is in itself nothing definite, but is the subject of change and development, and by receiving a form becomes a substance; that out of which anything is made. See form. Matter in this sense (a translation of Aristotle's word ϋλη, originally wood) is termed by the scholastics matter ex qua (out of which), to distinguish it from matter circum quam (concerning which), or the object of any action or power, as well as from matter in qua (in which), or the subject of any attribute.
    • n matter Extended substance.
    • n matter In the Kantian terminology, that which receives forms; especially, that element of cognition which comes to us from without; that which distinguishes a particular cognition from others; the purely sensuous part, independent of the representations of space and time and of every operation of thought; the content of experience.
    • n matter That of which anything is or may be composed; plastic, formative, or formed material of any kind; material: as, the prime matters of textile fabrics (wool, cotton, silk, etc.); the book contains much useless matter.
    • n matter Specifically, in printing: Material for work; copy: as, to keep the compositors supplied with matter.
    • n matter Type set up; material to be printed from, or that has been printed from and will not again be required: in the former case called distinctively live matter, and in the latter dead matter.
    • n matter In a restricted sense, mere effete substance; that which is thrown off by a living body, or which collects in it as the result of disease; pus: as, fecal matter; purulent or suppurative matter (often called simply matter); the discharge of matter from an abscess or a wound.
    • n matter The material of thought or expression; the substance of a mental act or a course of thought; something existing in or brought forth by the mind; a conception or a production of the intellect considered as to its contents or significance, as distinguished from its form.
    • n matter Material or occasion for thought, feeling, or expression; a subject or cause of mental operation or manifestation; intellectual basis or ground; theme; topic; source: as, matter for reflection; a matter of joy or grief.
    • n matter A subject of or for consideration or action; something requiring attention or effort; material for activity; affair; concern: as, matters of state or of business.
    • n matter A subject of debate or controversy; a question under discussion; a ground of difference or dispute.
    • n matter An object of thought in general; a thing engaging the attention; anything under consideration indefinitely: as, that is a matter of no moment; a matter of fact.
    • n matter A circumstance or condition as affecting persons or things; a state of things; especially, something requiring remedy, adjustment, or explanation: as, this is a serious matter; what is the matter?
    • n matter An inducing cause or occasion; explanatory fact or circumstance; reason.
    • n matter Significance; sense; meaning; import.
    • n matter Ground of consideration; importance; consequence: used especially in interrogative and negative phrases, sometimes with an ellipsis of the verb.
    • n matter Something indefinite as to amount or quantity; a measure, distance, time, or the like, approximately or vaguely stated.
    • n matter In law: Statement or allegation: as, the court may strike out scandalous matter from a pleading.
    • n matter A proceeding of a special nature, commenced by motion on petition or order to show cause, etc., as distinguished from a formal action by one party against another, commenced by process and seeking judgment: as, the matter of the application of A. B. for the appointment of a trustee.
    • n matter Wood: apparently with reference to the hard stem of the vine.
    • n matter The material or substance of which anything is composed. Also prime matter, materia prima.
    • n matter In law, that which is fact or alleged as fact: in contradistinction to matter of law, which consists in the resulting relations, rights, and obligations which the law establishes in view of given facts. Thus, the questions whether a man executed a contract, and whether he was intoxicated at the time, relate to matters of fact; whether, if so, he is bound by the contract, and what the instrument means, are matters of law. The importance of the distinction is that in pleading allegations of the former are essential and of the latter unavailing, and that the former are usually questions for the jury, the latter for the judge.
    • n matter A particular element or fact of experience.
    • matter To be of importance; import; signify: chiefly used in negative and interrogative phrases: as, it does not matter; what does it matter?
    • matter To form pus; collect or be discharged, as matter in an abscess; also, to discharge pus.
    • matter To regard; care for; mind.
    • matter To approve of.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The universe is so vast in relation to the matter it contains that it can be compared in the following way: A building 20 miles long, 20 miles wide and 20 miles high that contains 1 grain of sand.
    • n Matter mat′ėr that which occupies space, and with which we become acquainted by our bodily senses: that out of which anything is made: that which receiving a form becomes a substance: the subject or thing treated of: anything engaging the attention: that with which one has to do: cause of a thing: thing of consequence: something requiring remedy or explanation: any special allegation in law: importance: a measure, &c., of indefinite amount:
    • v.i Matter to be of importance: to signify: to form or discharge matter in a sore:—pr.p. matt′ering; pa.p. matt′ered
    • n Matter mat′ėr (print.) material for work, type set up: mere dead substance, that which is thrown off by a living body, esp. pus, or the fluid in boils, tumours, and festering sores
    • ***


  • Janet Guthrie
    Janet Guthrie
    “Racing is a matter of spirit not strength.”
  • Seneca
    “It is quality rather than quantity that matters.”
  • Virgil
    “Mind moves matter.”
  • George Berkeley
    George Berkeley
    “What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind.”
  • Mark Victor Hansen
    Mark Victor Hansen
    “I want to talk with people who care about things that matter that will make a life-changing difference.”
  • Robert Thibodeau
    Robert Thibodeau
    “To try is all. It matters not if one succeeds or fails outwardly.”


Grey matter - Grey/gray matter is the human brain.
Matter of life and death - If something is a matter of life and death, it is extremely important.
Mind over matter - This idiom is used when someone uses their willpower to rise above adversity.
No laughing matter - Something that is no laughing matter is very serious.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. matere, F. matière, fr. L. materia,; perh. akin to L. mater, mother. Cf. Mother Madeira Material
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. matiere—L. materia, matter.


In literature:

Of this dissolved matter the largest proportion is made up of organic matter, nitric acid, lime, and soda salts.
"Manures and the principles of manuring" by Charles Morton Aikman
I prayed frequently concerning this matter, and thus made more decided progress for a few weeks.
"The Life of Trust: Being a Narrative of the Lord's Dealings With George Müller" by George Müller
In the South-eastern portion of the Free State matters were much the same as in the South-western.
"The Peace Negotiations" by J. D. Kestell
He penetrated to the truth of the matter presently.
"Child and Country" by Will Levington Comfort
He mentioned the matter.
"The Art of Disappearing" by John Talbot Smith
She knew where to find it, and hastened to obey, thinking to rush the matter through.
"The Scarlet Feather" by Houghton Townley
This was pleasant tidings, and encouraged me to speak to him of the matter I had at heart.
"A Romantic Young Lady" by Robert Grant
Ellen had a sad consciousness too that she had no part with her mother in this matter.
"The Wide, Wide World" by Susan Warner
None the less, the paper is full of matter.
"The Sexual Life of the Child" by Albert Moll
Social usages are not matters of opinion; they are matters of custom.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park

In poetry:

True greatness is being successful
No matter how wrong or how right;
True love is a thing very blissful,
But seldom remains over night.
"The Misanthrope's Reverie" by Joseph Warren Watson
What matter? if in calm old age
Our childhood's star again arise,
Crowning our lonely pilgrimage
With all that cheers a wanderer's eyes?
"The Epiphany" by John Keble
So now, amidst our day of strife,
With many a matter glad we play,
When once we see the light of life
Gleam through the tangle of to-day.
"Drawing Near The Light" by William Morris
"That matter settled, I shall reach
The 'Sixthly' in my solemn tether,
And show that what is true of each,
Is also true of all, together.
"Sir Macklin" by William Schwenck Gilbert
To be a passive part of all
That rounds Heaven's universal plan,
Of things that soar, of things that crawl,
Of mindless matter, as of man.
"The Silent Muse" by Alfred Austin
Beyond where matter moves, or place
Receives its forms, thy virtues roll;
From Mary's glory, angels trace
The beauty of her partner's soul.
"An Ode - Presented To The King, On His Majesty's Arrival In Holland, After The Queen's Death" by Matthew Prior

In news:

The mind is first, lets tackle the heart of the matter.
One of the Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak: "It's just a matter of luck," by Ayelet Waldman.
It doesn't matter what kind of music you're into.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: Size does matter.
Active since the early 1940s, Bourgeois has consistently plumbed the her own biography for subject matter and inspiration.
For that matter, how many pigs have a best friend.
After suffering two losses to Montoursville's Nicole Payne during the regular season, Shikellamy senior Tiara Bartol got her revenge when it mattered most.
Small study sees changes in white matter.
The lists are checked, the trailer is packed and now its just a matter of getting on the road.
No matter what Cecil Cooper said this spring, it was clear he worried about his status as manager of the Astros.
We knew these were our new favorite onion rings when we polished off a whole plate in a matter of minutes.
"Gravity Matters Little" by Henry Brimmer .
No matter who wins what at the London Olympics, a million or more visitors will need to get themselves an umbrella.
The novelty of the Gionta brothers facing each other in an NHL game wore off in a matter of seconds.
When he saw Howard playing back, none of that mattered.

In science:

Thirdly, we introduce matter fermions into the 3d gauge theory and see how 4d matter couplings are induced.
4d Gauge Theory and Gravity Generated from 3d Ones at High Energy
In vacuum, there is no matter field and the energy momentum tensor of matter fields vanishes.
Gauge Theory of Gravity
Resonant enhancement of neutrino oscillations in matter was obtained from Wolfenstein’s equation for neutrinos in matter .
Neutrino Oscillations. Theory and Experiment
And at the suitable density of matter this difference can lead to a resonance enhancement of neutrino oscillations in ”matter” [8, 34].
Neutrino Oscillations. Theory and Experiment
The simplest method to prove the absence of the resonance enhancement of neutrino oscillations in matter is: If we put an electrical (or strong) charged particle in matter, there arises polarization of matter.
Neutrino Oscillations. Theory and Experiment