Meaning of MATERIAL in English

MATERIAL

/ məˈtɪəriəl; NAmE -ˈtɪr-/ noun , adjective

■ noun

1.

[ U , C ] cloth used for making clothes, curtains, etc.

SYN fabric :

a piece of material

'What material is this dress made of?' 'Cotton.'

—picture at embroidery

2.

[ C , U ] a substance that things can be made from :

building materials (= bricks, sand, glass, etc.)

—see also raw material

3.

[ C , usually pl. , U ] things that are needed in order to do a particular activity :

teaching materials

The company produces its own training material.

( figurative )

The teacher saw her as good university material (= good enough to go to university).

➡ note at equipment

4.

[ U ] information or ideas used in books, etc. :

She's collecting material for her latest novel.

5.

[ U ] items used in a performance :

The band played all new material at the gig.

■ adjective

1.

[ only before noun ] connected with money, possessions, etc. rather than with the needs of the mind or spirit :

material comforts

changes in your material circumstances

OPP spiritual

2.

[ only before noun ] connected with the physical world rather than with the mind or spirit :

the material world

OPP immaterial

3.

material (to sth) ( formal or law ) important and needing to be considered :

material evidence

She omitted information that was material to the case.

—see also immaterial

►  ma·teri·ally / -iəli; NAmE / adverb :

Materially they are no better off.

Their comments have not materially affected our plans (= in a noticeable or important way) .

••

SYNONYMS

material

fabric ♦ cloth ♦ textile

These are all words for woven or knitted cotton, silk, wool, etc., used for making things such as clothes and curtains, and for covering furniture.

material

fabric used for making clothes, curtains, etc.:

'What material is this dress made of?' 'Cotton.'

fabric

woven or knitted cotton, silk, wool, etc., used for making things such as clothes and curtains, and for covering furniture:

cotton fabric

furnishing fabrics

NOTE

Fabric is often fairly strong material, and is often used when talking about covering furniture or making curtains.

cloth

fabric made by weaving or knitting cotton, wool, silk, etc.:

His bandages had been made from strips of cloth.

cloth or material?

Cloth is often fairly light material, especially in a form that has not been printed, treated, or prepared for use in any way. Cloth is frequently used in talking about buying and selling woven material. Material is a more general word than fabric or cloth as it has the related meaning of 'a substance that things can be made from'. It is not used when it might not be clear which type of material is meant: furnishing material • the material industry • a material manufacturer

textile

any type of fabric made by weaving or knitting:

He owns a factory producing a range of textiles.

the textile industry

NOTE

Textile is used mostly when talking about the business of making woven materials. The industry of making textiles is called textiles :

He got a job in textiles.

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

plain / printed / knitted / woven / cotton / woollen / silk / nylon / synthetic material / fabric / cloth / textiles

thick / thin material / fabric / cloth

furnishing material / fabric / textiles

curtain / dress material / fabric

the fabric / cloth / textile industry / trade

a fabric / cloth / textile merchant / mill / manufacturer

a length of material / fabric / cloth

••

WORD ORIGIN

late Middle English (in the sense relating to matter ): from late Latin materialis , adjective from Latin materia matter.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.