material#


material#
material adj
1 Material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective are comparable when they mean belonging to or having a relation to things that belong to the world of actuality or of things apparent to the senses.
Material applies to whatever is formed of matter or relates to things formed of matter; it often implies an opposition to spiritual, but it may imply an antithesis to ideal, formal, intangible, or impalpable
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material objects

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transporting his material possessions

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believes in no other world than the material world

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busy with material affairs— Conrad

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bathrooms . . ., motorcars, and other material comforts of which that age was ignorant— Russell

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these poor Christians are not thrifty like our country people at home; they have no veneration for property, no sense of material values— Cather

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Physical (see also BODILY) differs from material chiefly in suggesting an opposition to psychical, mental, metaphysical, imaginary, and, less often, spiritual; it applies especially to things perceived by the senses or capable of being dealt with in the same manner as objects of sense, and it usually implies a contrast to things knowable only through thought or intuition or built up by the mind or imagination; thus, the material objects and the physical objects within one's reach may be exactly the same objects, but material suggests their substantial nature and physical suggests their susceptibility of perception and identification, or, what is more important in science, of being weighed and measured. In scientific use physical is also applicable to things that are not objects, but forces, actions, motions, or states which are operative in nature or in mechanics and which can be measured or calculated, or put to use, even though, strictly speaking, they cannot be handled
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physical properties of light

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physical effect of radiation

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everything physical is measurable by weight, motion, and resistance— De Quincey

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Corporeal (see also BODILY) applies to what not only has physical existence but also is tangible or can be described as a body; thus, energy in itself has no corporeal existence though it is a physical power found usually in corporeal things
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in a monistic . . . sense "the mind" may be regarded as a living, growing "structure" even though it lacks corporeal tangibility— Science

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the spiritual life commences where the corporeal existence terminates— Frazer

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Phenomenal implies a relation to what is known or knowable through the senses and experience, as distinguished from what is knowable only through thought or intuition because beyond perception by the senses; the term is chiefly used in philosophy and science when there is an intent to mark the line between what is actually perceived and what has been ascertained by the reason, has been accepted by faith, or is theoretical or hypothetical
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phenomenal reality is often specifically called actuality

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phenomenal nature is reduced to an array of events in the four-dimen- sional continuum— Jeans

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her introspective bent has yielded more and more, in her recent writing, to a determination to capture the phenomenal world— Redman

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Sensible which basically applies to what is known or knowable through sense experience and thereby comprehends the specific terms visible, audible, tangible, palpable is sometimes opposed to intelligible, conceptual, or notional
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there is no sensible movement of the earth

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is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee ... are thou not. . . sensible to feeling as to sight? or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation— Shak.

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the man of science may carry us off into a world of symbols, but his symbols stand for features of the external world and he is bent on verifying them by sensible experience— Alexander

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Objective (see also FAIR) implies the same kind of existence as phenomenal and sensible, but it stresses the apartness of the thing known through the senses from the person who perceives it through his senses; the term, therefore, implies not only material existence but an existence which is or is felt as uncolored by the prejudices and preconceptions of the perceiver
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the ancient Hebrew . . . saw the rainbow as an objective structure set in the heavens for all men to behold— Jeans

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acosmism, the theory which denies the objective existence of the world or universe— Inge

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Analogous words: *carnal, fleshly, sensual, animal: actual, true, *real: tangible, *perceptible, appreciable, palpable
Antonyms: immaterial
2 *relevant, germane, pertinent, apposite, applicable, apropos
Analogous words: important, significant, consequential, momentous (see corresponding nouns at IMPORTANCE): vital, cardinal, *essential, fundamental
Antonyms: immaterial
material n *matter, substance, stuff
Analogous words: *element, constituent, ingredient, component

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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