From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishmattermat‧ter1 /ˈmætə $ -ər/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 SUBJECT/SITUATION [countable]SUBJECT a subject or situation that you have to think about or deal with There are important matters we need to discuss.matter for The legal arrangements for the sale are a matter for negotiation.RegisterMatter is used especially in formal or official contexts. In everyday English, people usually use subject, or just say it: I’ve talked to him about the matter. → I’ve talked to him about it.2 → matters3 MATERIAL [uncountable] a) HPSUBSTANCEthe material that everything in the universe is made of, including solids, liquids, and gases particles of matter b) waste/solid/organic/vegetable etc matterSUBSTANCE a substance that consists of waste material, solid material etc c) MIa yellow or white substance in wounds or next to your eye4 → as a matter of fact5 → what’s the matter?/something’s the matter/nothing’s the matter etc6 → the truth/fact of the matter is (that)7 → for that matter8 → be (quite) a different matter9 → take matters into your own hands10 → it’s only/just a matter of time11 → a matter of life and/or death12 → be a matter of opinion13 → be a matter of (personal) taste/choice/preference14 → be a matter of principle15 → be a matter of doing something16 → a matter of seconds/weeks/hours etc17 → as a matter of something18 → as a matter of interest19 → as a matter of urgency20 → as a matter of course/routine21 → no matter how/whether/what etc22 → no matter what23 → no matter24 → it’s a matter of fact (that)25 → the little/small matter of something26 → no matter that27 → reading/printed etc matter → grey matter, subject matter, → not mince matters at mince1(3), → mind over matter at mind1(43)COLLOCATIONSadjectivesa serious/important matterIt is a very serious matter to mislead the police.an urgent matter (=something that needs to be dealt with quickly)a weighty matter (=an important matter)I was surprised that this weighty matter was decided so quickly.a small/trivial matter (=a matter that is not important)Walking out over such a small matter may seem ridiculous.a simple/easy matter (=something that is easy to do)Putting together the bookcases is a fairly simple matter.a personal/private matterWe never spoke about personal matters.a financial/legal/religious etc matterThis is a legal matter and should be discussed with a solicitor.a practical matterHe wrote to him several times about practical matters to do with the house.verbsdiscuss the matterShe refused to discuss the matter.raise the matter (with somebody) (=discuss something with someone)If you need further training, raise the matter with your manager.consider the matter (=think about something)settle/resolve the matter (=decide something)They are meeting tonight to settle the matter.pursue the matter (=keep discussing or asking about something)She decided not to pursue the matter, as it obviously upset him.investigate the matter (=try to find out the truth about something)The police said they were investigating the matter.let the matter rest/drop (=stop discussing or worrying about something)I was too curious to let the matter drop.phrasesa matter of importance (=something important)He consulted her on all matters of importance.a matter of concern (=something that concerns people)Safety standards in the industry have become a matter of concern.a matter for debate/negotiation/discussion (=something to be debated/negotiated etc)How to solve the housing crisis is a matter for debate.a matter for speculation/conjecture (=something people discuss and wonder about)His future had become a matter for speculation.be a matter for somebody (to decide) (=be something that a particular person should decide)This is a matter for the judge.the matter at hand (also the matter in hand British English) (=the thing you are dealing with now)Do not let yourself be distracted from the matter in hand.be no laughing matter (=be something serious and important, though it might seem funny)A doctor’s bad handwriting is no laughing matter, because it can lead to errors.the heart/crux of the matter (=the most important part of something)The crux of the matter is: how do we prevent these floods from happening again?matters arising from/out of something (=things connected with or caused by a particular event)Are there any matters arising from the report which you wish to discuss?
Examples from the Corpusmatter• Lovelock's own position on the continuum has been a matter of great interest.• Rick wasn't particularly interested in financial matters.• A foggy reading of foggy matter.• His maudlin drunkenness was not helping matters.• Nobody ever treats me right, no matter how hard I try.• No matter how it worked, the idea raises ethical concerns for the medical profession, two physician-legislators said.• They are investigating an area of space that contains more than the usual amount of matter.• the forces exerted between particles of matter• Foreign affairs were not the only matters we discussed.• This meeting is being held to deal with the serious matter of possible racism in our hiring practices.• We should discuss the matter ourselves.• The first item on the agenda today is the matter of public transportation.• The matter is being argued and discussed in families up and down the country.• These matters can be tackled in the laboratory. 2 Contamination during or after sampling.• I appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, to allow us to have a debate on this matter today.• I agree with the hon. Gentleman on this matter.• In order to decompose, all vegetable matter needs supplies of nitrogen.• Dietary fibre makes waste matter from the food we eat pass through our bodies quickly.mattermatter2 ●●● S1 W3 verb 1 IMPORTANT[intransitive not in progressive] to be important, especially to be important to you, or to have an effect on what happensit doesn’t etc matter if Will it matter if I’m a little late? If I have to stay late at work tonight, it won’t matter because we can go out another night.it doesn’t etc matter who/why/what etc It doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you look neat and tidy. Does it matter what I think?it doesn’t etc matter that It does not matter that the gun was in fact unloaded. Do you think it matters that the cups and saucers don’t match?it doesn’t matter about something Just give me $5 – it doesn’t matter about the rest.matter to He had lost many of the people who mattered to him.matter a lot/a great deal It mattered a great deal to her what other people thought of her.not matter much/matter little I don’t think it matters much what you study. campaigning on issues that really matterall that matters/the only thing that matters All that matters is that you are safe. Money was the only thing which mattered to him. I don’t care what it looks like – what matters is that it works. At last she was with the man she loved and nothing else mattered. She said very little during the meal. Not that it mattered (=it was not important).2 → it doesn’t matter3 → what does it matter?→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusmatter• None of the muddle in her room mattered.• They both said it didn't matter.• Does it matter if I bring my own car?• Why did the place matter so much?• Welcome to the sorry state of the apology, when regrets seem to come most readily when they matter the least.• Moreover, the only properties he would allow to matter were ones that could be dealt with by the science of mathematics.• It matters what you wear to an evening of live theater.Not that it mattered• Honest. Not that it mattered.• It was certainly feasible under Jamel Mobuto's new liberal leadership. Not that it mattered.• Perhaps she would believe how important his job was. Not that it mattered.• She contributed very little to the conversation as they ate their meal. Not that it mattered.• The light was directly above him now, increasing in intensity and hurting his eyes. Not that it mattered.Origin matter1 (1100-1200) Old French matere, from Latin materia “matter, substance”, from mater “mother”