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Related to materials: materials science, Materials Engineering


1. The substance or substances out of which a thing is or can be made.
2. Something, such as an idea or information, that is to be refined and made or incorporated into a finished effort: material for a comedy.
3. materials Tools or apparatus for the performance of a given task: writing materials.
4. Yard goods or cloth.
5. A person who is qualified or suited for a position or activity: The members of the board felt that she was vice-presidential material.
1. Of, relating to, or composed of matter.
2. Of, relating to, or affecting physical well-being; bodily: "the moral and material welfare of all good citizens" (Theodore Roosevelt).
3. Of or concerned with the physical as distinct from the intellectual or spiritual: "Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
4. Being both relevant and consequential; crucial: testimony material to the inquiry. See Synonyms at relevant.
5. Philosophy Of or relating to the matter of reasoning, rather than the form.

[Middle English, consisting of matter, material, from Old French, from Late Latin māteriālis, from Latin māteria, matter; see māter- in Indo-European roots.]


pl n
the equipment necessary for a particular activity


  • taboret - An artist's multi-drawer cabinet table for tools and materials.
  • compendium - Latin for "that which is weighed together," it is a complete summary or abridgment or a concise collection of materials—not an all-encompassing or comprehensive work (plural is compendiums or compendia).
  • hygroscopic - Describing the ability or tendency of a material to take up moisture readily from the surrounding air or other moist materials.
  • molecular gastronomy - The study and application of chemistry, physics, and other scientific principles on cooking processes, preparation, and materials.
References in classic literature ?
After many serious discussions with Meg and Jo, the pattern was chosen, the materials bought, and the slippers begun.
He was a weaver by trade; had been a skilled workman on tapestries and upholstery materials.
Pontellier had brought her sketching materials, which she sometimes dabbled with in an unprofessional way.
The scout directed Heyward and his disconsolate fellow travelers to seat themselves in the forward end of the canoe, and took possession of the other himself, as erect and steady as if he floated in a vessel of much firmer materials.
And, amid these rich and potent devices of the culinary art (not one of which, probably, had been tested, within the memory of any man's grandfather), poor Hepzibah was seeking for some nimble little titbit, which, with what skill she had, and such materials as were at hand, she might toss up for breakfast.
My conclusion was that he had no soul, no heart, no mind; nothing, as I have already said, but instincts; and yet, withal, so cunningly had the few materials of his character been put together that there was no painful perception of deficiency, but, on my part, an entire contentment with what I found in him.
Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
The party descended to the next floor, where the various waste materials were treated.
The thing that would have best suited the circus side of my nature would have been to resign the Boss-ship and get up an insurrection and turn it into a revolution; but I knew that the Jack Cade or the Wat Tyler who tries such a thing without first educating his materials up to revolution grade is almost absolutely certain to get left.
The various words used in building them are in the dictionary, but in a very scattered condition; so you can hunt the materials out, one by one, and get at the meaning at last, but it is a tedious and harassing business.
Well, we can't help it; we got to do the best we can with the materials we've got.
As to the rest, Rebecca had furnished the ideas and Emma Jane the materials and labor, a method of dividing responsibilities that seemed to suit the circumstances admirably.

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