Meaning of MATERIAL in English

MATERIAL

I. ma ‧ te ‧ ri ‧ al 1 S1 W1 /məˈtɪəriəl $ -ˈtɪr-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ material , ↑ materialism , ↑ materialist , MATERIALS , ↑ materialization ; adjective : ↑ material , ↑ immaterial , ↑ materialistic , ↑ materialist ; adverb : ↑ materialistically , ↑ materially ; verb : ↑ materialize ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] cloth used for making clothes, curtains etc SYN fabric :

curtain material

scraps of material

a cape made of a soft material

2 . [uncountable and countable] a solid substance such as wood, plastic, or metal:

materials like wood or stone

organic/plant material

Animals depend on plant material for food.

harmful radioactive material

a paper company which imports raw materials (=substances which have not been treated) from North America.

recycled material

3 . [uncountable] ( also materials [plural] ) the things that are used for making or doing something

reading/writing etc material(s)

Videos often make good teaching material.

a supply of building materials

artists’ materials

4 . [uncountable] information or ideas used in books, films etc:

His act contains a lot of new material.

material for

Anita is collecting material for a novel.

the raw material (=information that has not been carefully examined) for an article

5 . officer/executive etc material someone who is good enough for a particular job or position:

He’s a good soldier, but not really officer material.

• • •

THESAURUS

■ for making clothes etc

▪ material noun [uncountable and countable] cloth used for making clothes, curtains etc:

She bought some pretty dress material.

▪ fabric noun [uncountable] cloth used for making clothes, curtains etc:

Man-made fabrics such as polyester are easy to wash and iron.

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furnishing fabrics

▪ cloth noun [uncountable] woven material, especially material made from natural substances such as cotton and wool, which has not yet been made into any other products:

The main trade was the production of woollen cloth.

▪ textiles noun [plural] formal a general word for all types of cloth – used especially when talking about the business of producing and selling them:

Textiles are one of Mexico’s main exports.

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the textile industry

■ a solid or liquid substance

▪ material noun [uncountable and countable] a substance, especially one that can be used for making things:

building materials

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The island has to import oil and other raw materials (=materials used for making things) .

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radioactive material

▪ substance noun [countable] a type of material such as a chemical or a mineral:

The green colour of the leaf is due to a substance called chlorophyll.

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Dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known to man.

▪ matter noun [uncountable] formal a type of substance – used especially in the following phrases:

waste matter from the body

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It is important to add plenty of organic matter to the soil.

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People throw away lots of vegetable matter.

▪ stuff noun [uncountable] informal a substance - used especially when you do not know exactly what it is:

What’s that sticky stuff on the floor?

II. material 2 W3 BrE AmE adjective [usually before noun]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ material , ↑ materialism , ↑ materialist , MATERIALS , ↑ materialization ; adjective : ↑ material , ↑ immaterial , ↑ materialistic , ↑ materialist ; adverb : ↑ materialistically , ↑ materially ; verb : ↑ materialize ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Late Latin ; Origin: materialis , from Latin materia ; ⇨ ↑ matter 1 ]

1 . relating to your money, possessions, living conditions etc, rather than the needs of your mind or soul OPP spiritual

material goods/possessions/wealth etc

The spiritual life is more important than material possessions.

a society that places high importance on material rewards

2 . relating to the real world and physical objects, rather than religious or ↑ spiritual things OPP spiritual :

According to some, the material world is all that exists.

3 . law important and needing to be considered when making a decision OPP irrelevant :

material evidence

material to

facts material to the investigation

4 . formal important and having a noticeable effect OPP immaterial :

material changes to the schedule

⇨ ↑ materially

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.