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English definition of “matter”

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matter

noun uk   /ˈmæt.ər/ us    /ˈmæt̬.ɚ/

matter noun (SITUATION)

B2 [C] a situation or subject that is being dealt with or considered: Could I talk to you about a personal matter? Allen denied any knowledge of the matter. Please phone me back - it's a matter of some importance. Talking about the world's problems is one thing, but solving them is another matter altogether (= is completely different).matters [plural] the situation being dealt with or being discussed: Her resignation is not going to help matters.to make matters worse B2 used to say that something has made a bad or difficult situation worse: Three of our players were ill, and to make matters worse, our main scorer had broken his ankle.be a matter of confidence, luck, waiting, etc. C2 If something is a matter of confidence, luck, waiting, etc. that is all you need for it to happen: Baking a cake isn't difficult - it's just a matter of following the recipe.be no laughing matter C2 to be very serious and not a situation that people should joke about: Being arrested by the police is no laughing matter.
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matter noun (PROBLEM)

the matter A2 [S]
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  • What's the matter with Lulu?
  • I don't know what's the matter with this phone.
  • You look upset - is anything the matter?
  • Why do you need another computer? What's the matter with the one you've got?
  • Julie was crying, but she wouldn't say what the matter was.
the reason for pain, worry, or a problem: What's the matter? Why are you crying? What's the matter with your hand? It's bleeding. Is anything the matter? I don't know what the matter is with the car, but it won't start.

matter noun (SUBSTANCE)

[U] physical substance in the universe: Some scientists believe that there is about ten times as much matter in the universe as astronomers have observed. [U] a substance of a particular kind: Most vegetable matter is compostable. There's no waste matter left over.

matter noun (TYPE)

C2 [U] a substance or things of a particular type: advertising/printed matter Do you find the subject matter of the book (= the subject that the book deals with) interesting?

matter noun (SMALL AMOUNT)

C2 [S] used in expressions describing how small an amount or period of time is: The interview was over in a matter of minutes. She complained he had short-changed her, but it was only a matter of a few pence.

matter

verb [I] uk   /ˈmæt.ər/ us    /ˈmæt̬.ɚ/
B2 to be important, or to affect what happens: We were late but it didn't seem to matter. "What did you say?" "Oh, it doesn't matter." [+ question word] It doesn't matter what you wear - just as long as you come. [+ that] It didn't matter that our best player was injured after ten minutes - we still won. I know Charles doesn't think this project is important, but it matters to me.
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(Definition of matter from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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