matter ( matters plural & 3rd person present) ( mattering present participle) ( mattered past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A matter is a task, situation, or event which you have to deal with or think about, especially one that involves problems.
usu with supp
It was clear that she wanted to discuss some private matter..., Until the matter is resolved the athletes will be ineligible to compete..., Don't you think this is now a matter for the police?..., Business matters drew him to Paris.
2 n-plural You use matters to refer to the situation you are talking about, especially when something is affecting the situation in some way.
If your ordinary life is out of control, then retreating into a cosy ritual will not improve matters..., If it would facilitate matters, I would be happy to come to New York..., Matters took an unexpected turn.
3 n-sing If you say that a situation is amatterof a particular thing, you mean that that is the most important thing to be done or considered when you are involved in the situation or explaining it.
a N of n/-ing
History is always a matter of interpretation..., Jack had attended these meetings as a matter of routine for years.
4 n-uncount Printed matter consists of books, newspapers, and other texts that are printed. Reading matter consists of things that are suitable for reading, such as books and newspapers.
...the Government's plans to levy VAT on printed matter., ...a rich variety of reading matter.
5 n-uncount Matter is the physical part of the universe consisting of solids, liquids, and gases.
A proton is an elementary particle of matter.
6 n-uncount You use matter to refer to a particular type of substance.
...waste matter from industries.
7 n-sing You use matter in expressions such as `What's the matter?' or `Is anything the matter?' when you think that someone has a problem and you want to know what it is.
the N, oft N with n
Carole, what's the matter? You don't seem happy..., She told him there was nothing the matter.
8 n-sing You use matter in expressions such as `a matter of weeks' when you are emphasizing how small an amount is or how short a period of time is.
a N of pl-n (emphasis)
Within a matter of days she was back at work...
9 verb If you say that something does not matter, you mean that it is not important to you because it does not have an effect on you or on a particular situation.
no cont, usu with brd-neg
A lot of the food goes on the floor but that doesn't matter... V
As long as staff are smart, it does not matter how long their hair is... it V wh
Does it matter that people don't know this?... it V that
Money is the only thing that matters to them. V to n, Also it V
11 If you say that something is another matter or a different matter, you mean that it is very different from the situation that you have just discussed.
another matter/a different matter phrase v-link PHR
Being responsible for one's own health is one thing, but being responsible for another person's health is quite a different matter...
12 If you are going to do something as a matter of urgency or priority, you are going to do it as soon as possible, because it is important.
as a matter of phrase PHR n
Your doctor and health visitor can help a great deal and you need to talk about it with them as a matter of urgency.
13 If something is no easy matter, it is difficult to do it.
no easy matter phrase v-link PHR
Choosing the colour for the drawing-room walls was no easy matter.
14 If someone says that's the end of the matter or that's an end to the matter, they mean that a decision that has been taken must not be changed or discussed any more.
that's the end of the matter/that's an end to the matter phrase
`He's moving in here,' Maria said. `So that's the end of the matter.'
15 You use the fact of the matter is or the truth of the matter is to introduce a fact which supports what you are saying or which is not widely known, for example because it is a secret.
the fact of the matter/the truth of the matter phrase V inflects, PHR that
The fact of the matter is that most people consume far more protein than they actually need...
16 You can use for that matter to emphasize that the remark you are making is true in the same way as your previous, similar remark.
for that matter phrase PHR with cl (emphasis)
(=come to that)
The irony was that Shawn had not seen her. Nor for that matter had anyone else...
17 You say `it doesn't matter' to tell someone who is apologizing to you that you are not angry or upset, and that they should not worry.
it doesn't matter convention
`Did I wake you?'—`Yes, but it doesn't matter.'
18 If you say that something is no laughing matter, you mean that it is very serious and not something that you should laugh or joke about.
no laughing matter phrase v-link PHR
Their behaviour is an offence. It's no laughing matter.
19 If you say that something makes matters worse, you mean that it makes a difficult situation even more difficult.
make matters worse phrase V inflects, oft PHR with cl
Don't let yourself despair; this will only make matters worse...
20 You use no matter in expressions such as `no matter how' and `no matter what' to say that something is true or happens in all circumstances.
no matter phrase PHR wh
No matter what your age, you can lose weight by following this program...
21 If you say that you are going to do something no matter what, you are emphasizing that you are definitely going to do it, even if there are obstacles or difficulties.
no matter what phrase PHR with cl (emphasis)
(=come what may)
He had decided to publish the manuscript no matter what...
22 If you say that a statement is a matter of opinion, you mean that it is not a fact, and that other people, including yourself, do not agree with it.
a matter of opinion phrase v-link PHR
`We're not that contrived. We're not that theatrical.'—`That's a matter of opinion.'
23 If you say that something is just a matter of time, you mean that it is certain to happen at some time in the future.
a matter of time phrase v-link PHR
It would be only a matter of time before he went through with it.
a matter of life and death
as a matter of course
as a matter of fact
mind over matter