ETYM Old Eng. matere, French matičre, from Latin materia; perh. akin to Latin mater mother. Related to Mother, Madeira, Material.
In physics, anything that has mass and can be detected and measured. All matter is made up of atoms, which in turn are made up of elementary particles; it exists ordinarily as a solid, liquid, or gas. The history of science and philosophy is largely taken up with accounts of theories of matter, ranging from the hard “atoms” of Democritus to the “waves” of modern quantum theory.
1. Substance; material.
2. Importance; significance.
3. The subject at hand; a topic.
4. A vaguely specified concern; SYN. affair, thing.
5. A problem.
6. Written material (especially in books or magazines); SYN. material.
7. (Used with negation) Having consequence.