matter noun

1 subject/situation that must be dealt with

ADJ. important, pressing, serious, urgent, weighty He left, saying he had pressing matters to attend to. The question of his innocence is a weighty matter for this court. | awkward, complex, complicated, delicate, difficult I wasn't sure how to approach the delicate matter of pay. | no easy, (no) simple It is then a simple matter to print off the data you have collected. It is no simple matter starting a new business. | trifling, trivial | practical They've agreed in theory, but now we need to discuss practical matters. | family, personal | subject His articles deal with a wide range of subject matter. | economic, environmental, financial, legal, political, procedural, routine, technical The rest of the meeting was taken up by routine matters. | different I don't mind lizards, but snakes are a different matter.

VERB + MATTER bring up, broach, raise I thought I'd better broach the matter with my boss. The matter will be raised at our next meeting. | address, debate, discuss, go into, take up I don't really want to go into this matter now. | pursue, take further After legal advice I chose to take the matter further. | drop His lawyer advised him to drop the matter. | consider, examine, look at/into, tackle | clarify, clear up, decide, resolve, settle It's a relief to have the matter settled. | approach, deal with, treat Police are treating the matter as a murder enquiry.

PREP. in a/the ~ I don't have much experience in these matters. Do I have any choice in the matter? | on a/the ~ Speak to your manager if you need help on this matter. | ~ for The incident is definitely a matter for the police. | ~ of It's a matter of concern to all of us. We discussed the matter of whether or not to hire a bus. Getting the effect you want is a matter of trial and error.

PHRASES the crux/heart of the matter (= the most important part of a subject/situation), let the matter drop/rest She refused to let the matter rest. | the matter in hand Let's concentrate on the matter in hand for now, and leave other issues till later.

2 matters: situation you are in

VERB + MATTER complicate, confuse, make worse, not help It didn't help matters that I had a terrible cold. To make matters worse, my friend then lost her keys. | arrange She always arranges matters to suit herself.

3 substance

ADJ. solid | organic, vegetable composed entirely of organic matter | inanimate, inorganic | printed, written