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1. That which occupies space and has mass; physical substance.
2. A type of such substance: organic matter.
3. Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.
4. Philosophy In Aristotelian and Scholastic use, that which is in itself undifferentiated and formless and which, as the subject of change and development, receives form and becomes substance.
5. The substance of thought or expression as opposed to the manner in which it is stated or conveyed.
6. A subject of concern, feeling, or action: matters of foreign policy; a personal matter. See Synonyms at subject.
7. Trouble or difficulty: What's the matter with your car?
8. An approximated quantity, amount, or extent: The construction will last a matter of years.
9. Something printed or otherwise set down in writing: reading matter.
intr.v. mat·tered, mat·ter·ing, mat·ters
To be of importance: "Love is most nearly itself / When here and now cease to matter" (T.S. Eliot).
as a matter of fact
In fact; actually.
for that matter
So far as that is concerned; as for that.
no matter
Regardless of: "Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, / No matter where it's going" (Edna St. Vincent Millay).

[Middle English, from Old French matere, from Latin māteria, wood, timber, matter, from māter, mother (because the woody part was seen as the source of growth); see māter- in Indo-European roots.]


pl n
the situation in question: matters took an unexpected turn.
References in classic literature ?
He was rather narrow in religious matters, and sometimes spoke out and hurt people's feelings.
He always wrote to her on Christmas Day, he said, no matter where he was, and no matter how long it had been since his last letter.
The lovers were profiting by the general conversation on Mexico to speak in whispers of matters which they rightly considered were interesting to no one but themselves.
Madame Ratignolle came down to discover what was the matter.
After simpering in a small way, like one whose modesty prohibited a more open expression of his admiration of a witticism that was perfectly unintelligible to his hearers, he continued, "It is not prudent for any one of my profession to be too familiar with those he has to instruct; for which reason I follow not the line of the army; besides which, I conclude that a gentleman of your character has the best judgment in matters of wayfaring; I have, therefore, decided to join company, in order that the ride may be made agreeable, and partake of social communion.
He gave rapid orders on many different matters, asked to have read to him a cablegram he expected from Petersburg, and one from Vienna.
After arranging matters to her satisfaction, Phoebe emerged from her chamber, with a purpose to descend again into the garden.
According to the received code in such matters, it would have been nothing short of duty, in a politician, to bring every one of those white heads under the axe of the guillotine.
To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.
It didn't matter so much when you were a little girl, but now you are so tall, and turn up your hair, you should remember that you are a young lady.
The old man had quite an elaborate theory concern- ing the matter.
As for inside baseball, or outside, for that matter, I hardly believe I'd be able to tell third base from the second base, it's so long since I went to a game," proceeded Tom.