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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [matter]

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matter

MAT'TER, n. [L. materia; Heb. to measure; L. metior.]

1. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown our of discharged in a tumor,boil or abscess; pus; purulent substance collected in an abscess, the effect of suppuration more or less perfect; as digested matter; sanious matter.

2. Body; substance extended; that which is visible or tangible; as earth, wood, stone, air, vapor, water.

3. In a more general and philosophic sense, the substance of which all bodies are composed; the substratum of sensible qualities, though the parts composing the substratum may not be visible or tangible.

Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into four kinds or classes; solid, liquid; aeriform, and imponderable. Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere and resist impression, as wood or stone; liquids have free motion among their parts, and easily yield to impression, as water and wine. Aeriform substances are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and oxygen gas. The imponderable substances are destitute of weight, as light, caloric, electricity, and magnetism.

4. Subject; thing treated; that about which we write or speak; that which employs thought or excites emotion; as, this is matter of praise, of gratitude, or of astonishment.

Son of God, Savior of men, thy name

Shall be the copious matter of my song.

5. The very thing supposed or intended.

He grants the deluge to have come so very near the matter, that few escaped.

6. Affair; business; event; thing; course of things. Matters have succeeded well thus far; observe how matters stand; thus the matter rests at present; thus the matter ended.

To help the matter,the alchimists call in many vanities from astrology.

Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice.

7. Cause of any event, as of any disturbance, of a disease, or of a difficulty. When a moving machine stops suddenly, we ask, what is the matter? When a person is ill, we ask, what is the matter? When a tumult or quarrel takes place, we ask, what is the matter?

8. Subject of complaint; suit; demand.

If the matter should be tried by duel between two champions--

Every great matter they shall bring to thee, but every small matter they shall judge-- Ex.18.

9. Import; consequence; importance; moment.

A prophet some, and some a poet cry,

No matter which, so neither of them lie.

10. Space of time; a portion of distance.

I have thoughts to tarry a small matter.

Away he goes, a matter of seven miles--

[In these last senses,the use of matter is now vulgar.]

Upon the matter, considering the whole; taking all things into view. This phrase is now obsolete; but in lieu of it, we sometimes use, upon the whole matter.

Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot.

Matter of record, that which is recorded, or which may be proved by record.

MAT'TER, v.i. To be of importance; to import; used with it, this, that, or what. This matters not; that matters not; chiefly used in negative phrases; as, what matters it?

It matters not how they are called, so we know who they are.

1. To maturate; to form pus; to collect, as matter in an abscess.

Each slight sore mattereth. [Little used.]

[We now use maturate.]

MAT'TER, v.t. To regard. [Not used.]




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [matter]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

MAT'TER, n. [L. materia; Heb. to measure; L. metior.]

1. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown our of discharged in a tumor,boil or abscess; pus; purulent substance collected in an abscess, the effect of suppuration more or less perfect; as digested matter; sanious matter.

2. Body; substance extended; that which is visible or tangible; as earth, wood, stone, air, vapor, water.

3. In a more general and philosophic sense, the substance of which all bodies are composed; the substratum of sensible qualities, though the parts composing the substratum may not be visible or tangible.

Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into four kinds or classes; solid, liquid; aeriform, and imponderable. Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere and resist impression, as wood or stone; liquids have free motion among their parts, and easily yield to impression, as water and wine. Aeriform substances are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and oxygen gas. The imponderable substances are destitute of weight, as light, caloric, electricity, and magnetism.

4. Subject; thing treated; that about which we write or speak; that which employs thought or excites emotion; as, this is matter of praise, of gratitude, or of astonishment.

Son of God, Savior of men, thy name

Shall be the copious matter of my song.

5. The very thing supposed or intended.

He grants the deluge to have come so very near the matter, that few escaped.

6. Affair; business; event; thing; course of things. Matters have succeeded well thus far; observe how matters stand; thus the matter rests at present; thus the matter ended.

To help the matter,the alchimists call in many vanities from astrology.

Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice.

7. Cause of any event, as of any disturbance, of a disease, or of a difficulty. When a moving machine stops suddenly, we ask, what is the matter? When a person is ill, we ask, what is the matter? When a tumult or quarrel takes place, we ask, what is the matter?

8. Subject of complaint; suit; demand.

If the matter should be tried by duel between two champions--

Every great matter they shall bring to thee, but every small matter they shall judge-- Ex.18.

9. Import; consequence; importance; moment.

A prophet some, and some a poet cry,

No matter which, so neither of them lie.

10. Space of time; a portion of distance.

I have thoughts to tarry a small matter.

Away he goes, a matter of seven miles--

[In these last senses,the use of matter is now vulgar.]

Upon the matter, considering the whole; taking all things into view. This phrase is now obsolete; but in lieu of it, we sometimes use, upon the whole matter.

Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot.

Matter of record, that which is recorded, or which may be proved by record.

MAT'TER, v.i. To be of importance; to import; used with it, this, that, or what. This matters not; that matters not; chiefly used in negative phrases; as, what matters it?

It matters not how they are called, so we know who they are.

1. To maturate; to form pus; to collect, as matter in an abscess.

Each slight sore mattereth. [Little used.]

[We now use maturate.]

MAT'TER, v.t. To regard. [Not used.]


MAT'TER, n. [L. Sp. and It. materia; Fr. matière; Arm. matery; W. mater, what is produced, occasion, affair, matter; madru, to putrefy or dissolve. Owen deduces mater from mâd, what proceeds or advances, a good; madu, to cause to proceed, to render productive; mâd, good, beneficial, that is, advancing, progressive. Here we have a clear idea of the radical sense of good, which is proceeding, advancing. A good is that which advances or promotes; and hence we see the connection between this word mad and matter, pus, both from progressiveness. The original verb is in the Ar. مَدً madda, to extend, to reach or stretch, to be tall, to thrust out, to excrete, to produce pus, to yawn; derivatives, pus, sanies, matter. Ihis verb in Heb. and Ch. signifies to measure, and is the same as the L. metior, Gr. μετρεω. In Syriac, it signifies to escape.]

  1. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil or abscess; pus; purulent substance collected in an abscess, the effect of suppuration more or less perfect; as, digested matter; sanious matter.
  2. Body; substance extended; that which is visible or tangible; as, earth, wood, stone, air, vapor, water.
  3. In a more general and philosophic sense, the substance of which all bodies are composed; the substratum of sensible qualities, though the parts composing the substratum may not be visible or tangible. Encyc. Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into four kinds or classes; solid, liquid, aeriform, and imponderable. Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere and resist impression, as wood or stone; liquids have free motion among their parts, and easily yield to impression, as water and wine. Aeriform substances are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and oxygen gas. The imponderable substances are destitute of weight, as light, caloric, electricity and magnetism.
  4. Subject; thing treated; that about which we write or speak; that which employs thought or excites emotion; as, this is matter of praise, of gratitude, or of astonishment. Son of God, Savior of men, thy name / Shall he the copious matter of my song. Milton.
  5. The very thing supposed or intended. He grants the deluge to have come so very near the matter, that few escaped. Tillotson.
  6. Affair; business; event; thing; course of things. Matters have succeeded well thus far; observe how matters stand; thus the matter rests at present; thus the matter ended. To help the matter, the alchimists call in many vanities from astrology. Bacon. Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice. Spectator.
  7. Cause of any event, as of any disturbance, or of a disease, or of a difficulty. When a moving machine stops suddenly, we ask, what is the matter? When a person is ill, we ask, what is the matter? When a tumult or quarrel takes place, we ask, what is the matter?
  8. Subject of complaint; suit; demand. If the matter should be tried by duel between two champions. Bacon. Every great matter they shall bring to thee, but every small matter they shall judge. Exod. xviii.
  9. Import; consequence; importance; moment. A prophet some, and some a poet cry, / No matter which, so neither of them lie. Dryden.
  10. Space of time; a portion of distance. I have thoughts to tarry a small matter. Congreve. Away he goes, a matter of seven miles. L'Estrange. Upon the matter, considering the whole; taking all things into view. This phrase is now obsolete; but in lieu of it, we sometimes use, upon the whole matter. Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot. Clarendon. Matter of record, that which is recorded, or which may be proved by record.

MAT'TER, v.i.

  1. To be of importance; to import; used with it, this, that, or what. This matters not; that matters not; chiefly used in negative phrases; as, what matters it? It matters not how they are called, so we know who they are. Locke.
  2. To maturate; to form pus; to collect, as matter in an abscess. Each slight sore mattereth. [Little used.] Sidney. [We now use maturate.]

MAT'TER, v.t.

To regard. [Not used.]


Mat"ter
  1. That of which anything is composed; constituent substance; material; the material or substantial part of anything; the constituent elements of conception; that into which a notion may be analyzed; the essence; the pith; the embodiment.

    He is the matter of virtue. B. Jonson.

  2. To be of importance] to import; to signify.

    It matters not how they were called. Locke.

  3. To regard as important; to take account of; to care for.

    [Obs.]

    He did not matter cold nor hunger. H. Brooke.

  4. That of which the sensible universe and all existent bodies are composed; anything which has extension, occupies space, or is perceptible by the senses; body; substance.

    * Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into three kinds or classes: solid, liquid, and aëriform. Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere and resist impression, as wood or stone. Liquids have free motion among their parts, and easily yield to impression, as water and wine. Aëriform substances are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and oxygen gas.

  5. To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.

    [R.] "Each slight sore mattereth." Sir P. Sidney.
  6. That with regard to, or about which, anything takes place or is done; the thing aimed at, treated of, or treated; subject of action, discussion, consideration, feeling, complaint, legal action, or the like; theme.

    "If the matter should be tried by duel." Bacon.

    Son of God, Savior of men ! Thy name
    Shall be the copious matter of my song.
    Milton.

    Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge. Ex. xviii. 22.

  7. That which one has to treat, or with which one has to do; concern; affair; business.

    To help the matter, the alchemists call in many vanities out of astrology. Bacon.

    Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice. Spectator.

  8. Affair worthy of account; thing of consequence; importance; significance; moment; -- chiefly in the phrases what matter ? no matter, and the like.

    A prophet some, and some a poet, cry;
    No matter which, so neither of them lie.
    Dryden.

  9. Inducing cause or occasion, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing; difficulty; trouble.

    And this is the matter why interpreters upon that passage in Hosea will not consent it to be a true story, that the prophet took a harlot to wife. Milton.

  10. Amount; quantity; portion; space; -- often indefinite.

    Away he goes, . . . a matter of seven miles. L' Estrange.

    I have thoughts to tarry a small matter. Congreve.

    No small matter of British forces were commanded over sea the year before. Milton.

  11. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess; pus; purulent substance.
  12. That which is permanent, or is supposed to be given, and in or upon which changes are effected by psychological or physical processes and relations; -- opposed to form.

    Mansel.
  13. Written manuscript, or anything to be set in type; copy; also, type set up and ready to be used, or which has been used, in printing.

    Dead matter (Print.), type which has been used, or which is not to be used, in printing, and is ready for distribution. -- Live matter (Print.), type set up, but not yet printed from. -- Matter in bar, Matter of fact. See under Bar, and Fact. -- Matter of record, anything recorded. -- Upon the matter, or Upon the whole matter, considering the whole; taking all things into view.

    Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot. Clarendon.

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Matter

MAT'TER, noun [Latin materia; Heb. to measure; Latin metior.]

1. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown our of discharged in a tumor, boil or abscess; pus; purulent substance collected in an abscess, the effect of suppuration more or less perfect; as digested matter; sanious matter

2. Body; substance extended; that which is visible or tangible; as earth, wood, stone, air, vapor, water.

3. In a more general and philosophic sense, the substance of which all bodies are composed; the substratum of sensible qualities, though the parts composing the substratum may not be visible or tangible.

Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into four kinds or classes; solid, liquid; aeriform, and imponderable. Solid substances are those whose parts firmly cohere and resist impression, as wood or stone; liquids have free motion among their parts, and easily yield to impression, as water and wine. Aeriform substances are elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and oxygen gas. The imponderable substances are destitute of weight, as light, caloric, electricity, and magnetism.

4. Subject; thing treated; that about which we write or speak; that which employs thought or excites emotion; as, this is matter of praise, of gratitude, or of astonishment.

Son of God, Savior of men, thy name

Shall be the copious matter of my song.

5. The very thing supposed or intended.

He grants the deluge to have come so very near the matter that few escaped.

6. Affair; business; event; thing; course of things. Matters have succeeded well thus far; observe how matters stand; thus the matter rests at present; thus the matter ended.

To help the matter the alchimists call in many vanities from astrology.

Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice.

7. Cause of any event, as of any disturbance, of a disease, or of a difficulty. When a moving machine stops suddenly, we ask, what is the matter? When a person is ill, we ask, what is the matter? When a tumult or quarrel takes place, we ask, what is the matter?

8. Subject of complaint; suit; demand.

If the matter should be tried by duel between two champions--

Every great matter they shall bring to thee, but every small matter they shall judge-- Exodus 18:16.

9. Import; consequence; importance; moment.

A prophet some, and some a poet cry,

No matter which, so neither of them lie.

10. Space of time; a portion of distance.

I have thoughts to tarry a small matter

Away he goes, a matter of seven miles--

[In these last senses, the use of matter is now vulgar.]

Upon the matter considering the whole; taking all things into view. This phrase is now obsolete; but in lieu of it, we sometimes use, upon the whole matter

Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter equal in foot.

Matter of record, that which is recorded, or which may be proved by record.

MAT'TER, verb intransitive To be of importance; to import; used with it, this, that, or what. This matters not; that matters not; chiefly used in negative phrases; as, what matters it?

It matters not how they are called, so we know who they are.

1. To maturate; to form pus; to collect, as matter in an abscess.

Each slight sore mattereth. [Little used.]

[We now use maturate.]

MAT'TER, verb transitive To regard. [Not used.]

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

exactor

EXACT'OR, n. One who exacts; an officer who collects tribute, taxes or customs.

I will make thine officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Isa. 60.

1. An extortioner; one who compels another to pay more than is legal or reasonable; one who demands something without pity or regard to justice.

2. He that demands by authority; as an exactor of oaths.

3. One who is unreasonably severe in his injunctions or demands.

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