Definition of immaterial in English:

immaterial

adjective

  • 1Unimportant under the circumstances; irrelevant.

    ‘so long as the band kept the beat, what they played was immaterial’
    • ‘He's going to have an inconsistency, be it material or immaterial.’
    • ‘Whether the public believed him was immaterial, though any public outcry in support of the union message could only be helpful.’
    • ‘The fact that the keeper got a touch as the shot flew past him into the corner of the net was immaterial, given the ferocity of the 23-year old's strike.’
    • ‘Therefore, while regrettable, the omission in my view is immaterial in these circumstances.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, I do not think we can simply write off as immaterial or irrelevant the views expressed by my interlocutor.’
    • ‘Wins and losses, for any sport, are ultimately immaterial in considering the value of an athletic program.’
    • ‘But as he rightly pointed out, that fact was totally immaterial.’
    • ‘Hence the delay required to obtain a warrant is usually immaterial.’
    • ‘The locality of the registration is immaterial - 90 per cent of people here drive badly or atrociously.’
    • ‘Whether they are right or not about their goal (and I think they were wrong) is immaterial.’
    • ‘The fact that their views may not reflect majority views, or indeed are specifically opposed to majority views, is immaterial.’
    • ‘The event, the fourth of its kind, is open to all: age, language, gender and sexual orientation are immaterial.’
    • ‘Far from immaterial, such a question is particularly relevant.’
    • ‘The fact he lost his way then is, to an extent, immaterial.’
    • ‘That the candidate also had significant executive branch experience and helped remake whole areas of the law was immaterial.’
    • ‘It is immaterial that they belong to urban or rural area.’
    • ‘Anyone can, for instance, glue styrofoam cups to a board and it is meaningless, craftless, and immaterial.’
    • ‘So the government says this is all irrelevant and immaterial.’
    • ‘Since, as you say, it's immaterial to the evidence she would introduce, why can't you tell us whether she is or isn't?’
    • ‘She - the scholar - really wanted to believe that; whether or not it was true was almost immaterial.’
    irrelevant, unimportant, inconsequential, insignificant, of no matter, of no moment, of little account, beside the point, not to the point, neither here nor there, inapposite, not pertinent, not germane
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  • 2Philosophy
    Spiritual, rather than physical.

    ‘we have immaterial souls’
    • ‘We find new relationships with technologies by rubbing our corporeal bodies up against them, not by crossing a threshold into their immaterial worlds.’
    • ‘For fear of saying such things, people in the past invented the notion of an immaterial soul, but Schopenhauer will have none of that.’
    • ‘I thought how ephemeral and immaterial the bond we have with anybody is, and for the most part we are alone to see and witness the world.’
    • ‘Epicurus rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul, and he said that the gods have no influence on our lives.’
    • ‘Even if immaterial souls do not exist, there is good reason not to identify the deaths of people with the deaths of their bodies.’
    intangible, incorporeal, not material, bodiless, unembodied, disembodied, impalpable, ethereal, unsubstantial, insubstantial, airy, aerial
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Usage

Immaterial and irrelevant are familiar in legal, especially courtroom, use. Immaterial means ‘unimportant because not adding anything to the point.’ Irrelevant, a much more common word, means ‘beside the point, not speaking to the point.’ Courts have long ceased to demand precise distinctions, and evidence is often objected to as “immaterial, irrelevant, and incompetent (‘offered by a witness who is not qualified to offer it’).”

Origin

Late Middle English (in immaterial (sense 2)): from late Latin immaterialis, from in- ‘not’ + materialis ‘relating to matter’.

Pronunciation

immaterial

/ˌɪ(m)məˈtɪriəl//ˌi(m)məˈtirēəl/