1. Consisting of matter; not spiritual; corporeal; physical; as, material substance or bodies. The material elements of the universe. (Whewell)
2. Hence: Pertaining to, or affecting, the physical nature of man, as distinguished from the mental or moral nature; relating to the bodily wants, interests, and comforts.
3. Of solid or weighty character; not insubstantial; of cinsequence; not be dispensed with; important. Discourse, which was always material, never trifling. (Evelyn) I shall, in the account of simple ideas, set down only such as are most material to our present purpose. (Locke)
4. (Science: logic) Pertaining to the matter, as opposed to the form, of a thing. See matter. Material cause. See cause. Material evidence, evidence which conduces to the proof or disproof of a relevant hypothesis.
Synonym: corporeal, bodily, important, weighty, momentous, essential.
Origin: L. Materialis, fr. Materia stuff, matter: cf. F. Materiel. See matter, and cf. Materiel.