Definition of material noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    material

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//məˈtɪriəl//
     
     
    jump to other results
  1. 1 [uncountable, countable] cloth used for making clothes, curtains, etc. synonym fabric a piece of material “What material is this dress made out of?” “Cotton.” Thesaurusfabriccloth material textileThese are all words for woven or knitted cotton, silk, wool, etc., used for making things such as clothes and curtains, and for covering furniture.fabric woven or knitted cotton, silk, wool, etc., used for making things such as clothes and curtains, and for covering furniture:cotton fabric upholstery fabrics Fabric is often fairly strong material, and is often used when talking about covering furniture or making curtains.cloth fabric made by weaving or knitting cotton, wool, silk, etc.:His bandages had been made from strips of cloth. Cloth is often fairly light material. Cloth is frequently used in talking about clothing material, or buying and selling woven material.material fabric used for making clothes, curtains, etc:The material was dyed with natural ingredients. Material is a more general word than fabric or cloth as it has the related meaning of “a substance that things can be made from.” It is not used when it might not be clear which type of material is meant:upholstery material the material industrytextile any type of fabric made by weaving or knitting:She owns a factory producing a range of textiles. the textile industry Textile is used mostly when talking about the business of making woven materials. The industry of making textiles is called textiles:He works in textiles.Patterns woven/cotton/woolen fabric/cloth/material/textiles synthetic fabric/material/textiles dyed/printed fabric/cloth/textiles curtain/dress/clothing/upholstery fabric/material
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a substance that things can be made from building materials (= bricks, sand, glass, etc.) see also raw material
  3. 3 [countable, usually plural, uncountable] things that are needed in order to do a particular activity teaching materials The company produces its own training material. (figurative) The teacher saw her as good college material (= good enough to go to college). Thesaurusequipmentmaterial gear kit apparatusThese are all words for the things that you need for a particular purpose or activity.equipment the things that are needed for a particular purpose or activity:camping equipment a piece of laboratory/medical equipmentmaterial things that are needed for a particular activity:household cleaning materials teaching materialequipment or material?Equipment is usually solid things, especially large ones. Materials may be liquids, powders, or books, CDs, etc. containing information, as well as small solid items.gear the equipment or clothes needed for a particular activity:Camping gear can be expensive.kit a set of tools or equipment that you use for a particular purpose:a first-aid kit a sewing kitapparatus (formal) the tools or other pieces of equipment that are needed for a particular activity or task:breathing apparatus for firefighters laboratory apparatus Apparatus is used especially for scientific, medical, or technical purposes.Patterns electrical/electronic equipment/gear/apparatus sports equipment/gear camping equipment/gear a piece of equipment/apparatus
  4. 4[uncountable] information or ideas used in books, etc. She's collecting material for her latest novel.
  5. 5[uncountable] items used in a performance The band played all new material at the gig.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: material