Definition of non-material in English:



  • 1Not having a physical or material form.

    ‘while e-texts are non-material, they must be read through a material object’
    • ‘The forms taken by kinetic art are, unsurprisingly, very diverse, given that the nature of the art is non-material.’
    • ‘Information is a nonmaterial entity and this is the first time that a law of nature has been formulated for a mental concept.’
    • ‘These two approaches are not exclusive, but unite material and non-material resources into new types of museum property.’
    • ‘Non-material infrastructures are required: human capital, research, technology.’
    • ‘Alternatives include reusing bags and boxes, and giving nonmaterial gifts - event tickets, lessons, donations to favorite cause - that need no packaging.’
    • ‘Sarraute did in fact state over and over again that her chief preoccupation in writing was to reveal to the reader a previously hidden reality, using the imperfect and distinctly unreal, or at least nonmaterial, tool that is language.’
    1. 1.1 Involving or concerned with the needs of the mind, spirit, or intellect.
      ‘a public realm upholding non-material values’
      • ‘Having too many things makes time for non-material pleasure shrink; an overabundance of options can easily diminish full satisfaction.’
      • ‘At its most idealistic, adoption indicated that struggles for material survival had renewed people's faith in the non-material qualities that children and home ideally represented.’
      • ‘And even if its not material goods you want, you will still want to substiture leisure for labor, so as to pursue your non-material spiritual ends.’
      • ‘"At no time in western history has any nation totally ignored the importance of national recognition of, and support for, non-material values."’
      • ‘He attacked the prevailing consensus about progress on the grounds that it failed to respect individuality, promote ethical behaviour or preserve non-material values.’
      • ‘Thus, physical possessions (e.g., wealth) were seen as a means of attaining nonmaterial desires (e.g., helping others).’
      • ‘In both cases large, impersonal, bureaucratic structures proved incapable of responding to the needs of a more diverse population and their non-material aspirations.’