material Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “material” in the English Dictionary

"material" in British English

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materialnoun

uk   /məˈtɪə.ri.əl/  us   /məˈtɪr.i.əl/
  • material noun (PHYSICAL SUBSTANCE)

B2 [C] a physical substance that things can be made from: building materials, such as stone Crude oil is used as the raw (= basic) material for making plastics.

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  • material noun (INFORMATION)

B1 [C or U] information used when writing something such as a book, or information produced in various forms to help people or to advertise products: I'm in the process of collecting material for an article that I'm writing.

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  • material noun (CLOTH)

B1 [C or U] cloth that can be used to make things such as clothes: How much material will you need to make the skirt?

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  • material noun (EQUIPMENT)

materials B1 [plural]
equipment that you need for a particular activity: "Do we need any writing materials?" "Only a pen and a pencil." teaching materials

materialadjective

uk   /məˈtɪə.ri.əl/  us   /məˈtɪr.i.əl/
(Definition of material from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"material" in American English

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materialnoun

 us   /məˈtɪr·i·əl/
  • material noun (PHYSICAL THING)

[C] a type of physical thing, such as wood, stone, or plastic, having qualities that allow it to be used to make other things: a hard/soft material The sculpture was made of various materials, including steel, copper wire, and rubber.
  • material noun (CLOTH)

[C/U] cloth that can be used to make clothes, curtains, etc.: [U] What kind of material are you going to use for the curtains?
  • material noun (SUPPLIES)

  • material noun (INFORMATION)

[C/U] information used when writing something such as a book, or information produced to help people or to advertise products: [U] He is working in the library gathering material for the article he is writing.
(Definition of material from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"material" in Business English

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materialnoun

uk   us   /məˈtɪəriəl/
[C or U] a physical substance that things can be made from: The cost of labour and materials has risen up to 40% in a short period.building/construction materials The buildings also use recycled building materials and consume less water.traditional/natural/recycled materials There is increasing demand for products made from recycled materials. hazardous/toxic/radioactive material
[U or plural] printed documents, books, computer programs, etc. that give information, especially ones intended for a particular purpose: publicity/marketing/promotional material According to their publicity material, the new rates are the lowest in the UK.teaching/training materials The video and other training materials were created in-house.printed/published material Some people prefer to receive information face-to-face, rather than through published material.
[U] information used when writing something: She gave me a lot of useful material for my presentation. The journalist had been collecting material for an article on the President.

materialadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /məˈtɪəriəl/
relating to physical objects or money: Increased material wealth is delivered by today's economic system. He cares more about job satisfaction than material things.
(Definition of material from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“material” in Business English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
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