Hypertext Webster Gateway: "matter"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Matter \Mat"ter\, n. [OE. matere, F. mati[`e]re, fr. L. materia;
perh. akin to L. mater mother. Cf. {Mother}, {Madeira},
1. 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

He is the matter of virtue. --B. Jonson.

2. 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;

Note: Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into
three kinds or classes: solid, liquid, and a["e]riform.
Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere
and resist impression, as wood or stone. Liquids have
free motion among their parts, and easily yield to
impression, as water and wine. A["e]riform substances
are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and
oxygen gas.

3. 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.'' --Bacon.

Son of God, Savior of men ! Thy name Shall be the
copious matter of my song. --Milton.

Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but
every small matter they shall judge. --Ex. xviii.

4. 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. --Bacon.

Some young female seems to have carried matters so
far, that she is ripe for asking advice.

5. 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. --Dryden.

6. 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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Matter \Mat"ter\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Mattered}; p. pr. & vb.
n. {Mattering}.]
1. To be of importance; to import; to signify.

It matters not how they were called. --Locke.

2. To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate. [R.]
``Each slight sore mattereth.'' --Sir P. Sidney.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Matter \Mat"ter\, v. t.
To regard as important; to take account of; to care for.

He did not matter cold nor hunger. --H. Brooke.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: that which has mass and occupies space; "an atom is the
smallest indivisible unit of matter" [syn: {substance}]
2: a vaguely specified concern; "several matters to attend to";
"it is none of your affair"; "things are going well"
[syn: {affair}, {thing}]
3: 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" [syn: {topic}, {subject}, {issue}]
4: a problem; "is anything the matter?"
5: (used with negation) having consequence; "they were friends
and it was no matter who won the games"
6: written works (especially in books or magazines); "he always
took some reading matter with him on the plane"
v : have weight; have import, carry weight; "It does not matter
much" [syn: {count}, {weigh}]

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