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 /məˈtɪəriəl/ us

[ 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 /məˈtɪəriəl/ us

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)