The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Matter \Mat"ter\, n. [OE. matere, F. mati[`e]re, fr. L. materia;
perh. akin to L. mater mother. Cf. Mother, Madeira,
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
He is the matter of virtue. --B. Jonson.
2. 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;
Note: Matter is usually divided by philosophical writers into
three kinds or classes: solid, liquid, and gaseous.
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. Gaseous substances are
elastic fluids, called vapors and gases, as air and
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Amount; quantity; portion; space; -- often indefinite.
Away he goes, . . . a matter of seven miles. --L'
I have thoughts to tarry a small matter. --Congreve.
No small matter of British forces were commanded
over sea the year before. --Milton.
8. Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which
is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess;
pus; purulent substance.
9. (Metaph.) 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.
10. (Print.) 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
Live matter (Print.), type set up, but not yet printed
Matter in bar, Matter of fact. See under Bar, and
Matter of record, anything recorded.
Upon the matter, or Upon the whole matter, considering
the whole; taking all things into view; all things
Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse,
but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Bar \Bar\ (b[aum]r), n. [OE. barre, F. barre, fr. LL. barra, W.
bar the branch of a tree, bar, baren branch, Gael. & Ir.
barra bar. [root]91.]
1. A piece of wood, metal, or other material, long in
proportion to its breadth or thickness, used as a lever
and for various other purposes, but especially for a
hindrance, obstruction, or fastening; as, the bars of a
fence or gate; the bar of a door.
Thou shalt make bars of shittim wood. --Ex. xxvi.
2. An indefinite quantity of some substance, so shaped as to
be long in proportion to its breadth and thickness; as, a
bar of gold or of lead; a bar of soap.
3. Anything which obstructs, hinders, or prevents; an
obstruction; a barrier.
Must I new bars to my own joy create? --Dryden.
4. A bank of sand, gravel, or other matter, esp. at the mouth
of a river or harbor, obstructing navigation.
5. Any railing that divides a room, or office, or hall of
assembly, in order to reserve a space for those having
special privileges; as, the bar of the House of Commons.
(a) The railing that incloses the place which counsel
occupy in courts of justice. Hence, the phrase at the
bar of the court signifies in open court.
(b) The place in court where prisoners are stationed for
arraignment, trial, or sentence.
(c) The whole body of lawyers licensed in a court or
district; the legal profession.
(d) A special plea constituting a sufficient answer to
7. Any tribunal; as, the bar of public opinion; the bar of
8. A barrier or counter, over which liquors and food are
passed to customers; hence, the portion of the room behind
the counter where liquors for sale are kept.
9. (Her.) An ordinary, like a fess but narrower, occupying
only one fifth part of the field.
10. A broad shaft, or band, or stripe; as, a bar of light; a
bar of color.
11. (Mus.) A vertical line across the staff. Bars divide the
staff into spaces which represent measures, and are
themselves called measures.
Note: A double bar marks the end of a strain or main division
of a movement, or of a whole piece of music; in
psalmody, it marks the end of a line of poetry. The
term bar is very often loosely used for measure, i.e.,
for such length of music, or of silence, as is included
between one bar and the next; as, a passage of eight
bars; two bars' rest.
12. (Far.) pl.
(a) The space between the tusks and grinders in the upper
jaw of a horse, in which the bit is placed.
(b) The part of the crust of a horse's hoof which is bent
inwards towards the frog at the heel on each side,
and extends into the center of the sole.
(a) A drilling or tamping rod.
(b) A vein or dike crossing a lode.
(a) A gatehouse of a castle or fortified town.
(b) A slender strip of wood which divides and supports
the glass of a window; a sash bar.
Bar shoe (Far.), a kind of horseshoe having a bar across
the usual opening at the heel, to protect a tender frog
Bar shot, a double headed shot, consisting of a bar, with a
ball or half ball at each end; -- formerly used for
destroying the masts or rigging in naval combat.
Bar sinister (Her.), a term popularly but erroneously used
for baton, a mark of illegitimacy. See Baton.
Bar tracery (Arch.), ornamental stonework resembling bars
of iron twisted into the forms required.
Blank bar (Law). See Blank.
Case at bar (Law), a case presently before the court; a
case under argument.
In bar of, as a sufficient reason against; to prevent.
Matter in bar, or Defence in bar, any matter which is a
final defense in an action.
Plea in bar, a plea which goes to bar or defeat the
plaintiff's action absolutely and entirely.
Trial at bar (Eng. Law), a trial before all the judges of
one the superior courts of Westminster, or before a quorum
representing the full court.