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

"matter" in British English

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matternoun

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 ​difficultsituationworse: Three of ​ourplayers were ​ill, and to make matters ​worse, ​ourmainscorer 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 ​lookupset - 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 withyourhand? 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 (SMALL AMOUNT)

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

matterverb [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 thatourbestplayer 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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"matter" in American English

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matternoun

 us   /ˈmæt̬·ər/
  • matter noun (SITUATION)

[C] a ​situation or ​subject that is being ​dealt with or ​considered: Her ​arrivalcomplicates matters ​evenfurther. I ​think this is a matter ​bestleft to the ​mayor to ​decide.
  • matter noun (PROBLEM)

[U] the ​reason for ​pain or ​worry: What’s the matter? Why are you so ​upset?
  • matter noun (SUBSTANCE)

[U] physics physicalsubstance in the ​universe
[U] physics Matter is also a ​particulartype of ​substance: printed matter waste matter

matterverb

 us   /ˈmæt̬·ər/
  • matter verb (BE IMPORTANT)

to be ​important: [I] "What did you say?" "Oh, it doesn’t matter." [+ question word] It no ​longer mattered what ​happened.
(Definition of matter from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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