matter Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “matter” - English Dictionary

"matter" in American English

See all translations

matternoun

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

[C] a situation or subject that is being dealt with or considered: Her arrival complicates matters even further. I think this is a matter best left 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 physical substance in the universe
[U] physics Matter is also a particular type 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)







"matter" in British English

See all translations

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 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • matter noun (PROBLEM)

the matter A2 [S]

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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.

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 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of matter from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of matter?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
A bunch of stuff about plurals
A bunch of stuff about plurals
by ,
May 24, 2016
by Colin McIntosh One of the many ways in which English differs from other languages is its use of uncountable nouns to talk about collections of objects: as well as never being used in the plural, they’re never used with a or an. Examples are furniture (plural in German and many other languages), cutlery (plural in Italian), and

Read More 

Word of the Day

parasol

a type of sunshade (= round frame covered in cloth on a stick) carried especially by women in the past, to give protection from the sun

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More