One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A state or condition in which matter exists; a material state or condition as opposed to a spiritual one; (Physics) each of the different modes in which matter can exist, traditionally categorized as solid, liquid, and gas, but extended from the 19th cent. onwards to other states, such as colloids and plasmas.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Boyle (1627–1691), natural philosopher. From state + of + matter.
state of matter/ˌsteɪt əv ˈmatə/
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