Definition of materiality in US English:



  • 1The quality or character of being material or composed of matter.

    • ‘Through encountering the materiality of the site the woman encounters her own materiality in a new way and with renewed intensity.’
    • ‘First, the intangibility of speech better mirrors the materiality of ultimate reality (which is abstract, not concrete).’
    • ‘As a matter of fact, I sympathise with their desire to produce design that refers to itself and to its context as a way of asserting the materiality of the medium.’
    • ‘The materiality of the state no doubt depends on, amongst other things, our tacit or explicit acknowledgement of its power.’
    • ‘Partly this is due to the materiality of the sounds: on the radio, the journey has a physicality that it lacks on the page.’
    • ‘Instead, subjectivity is constructed, coded and actively stretched across the materiality of networks.’
    • ‘They picture specific and real fragments of the world, and in order to make sense of these images we suppress the materiality of whatever surface they are printed on.’
    • ‘The phantoms of ideology have prevailed over the materiality of want and need.’
    • ‘The materiality of spice is connected to its role ‘halfway between object and sign, goods and money’, and as such, as a stimulus of desire.’
    • ‘The materiality of the picture plane was further underlined by the introduction of the new procedures, which allowed the exploration of new effects of depth from the overlapping of collaged planes.’
    • ‘The materiality of the icon is thrown into doubt.’
    • ‘The materiality of the paint and the sticky pull and release of the printing process showed a rough and ready formalism at work.’
    • ‘It is the materiality of the film stock that situates an indexical link with the past.’
    • ‘In so far as art is always an embodiment of ideas and a realization of imaginative and utopian moments, it has a crucial function in tenaciously insisting on the materiality of actual bodies and their contexts.’
    • ‘Contemporary art theories have challenged students to explore the materiality of ceramics.’
    • ‘As far as symbolism is concerned, material embodiment refers in the first instance to the materiality of the artwork, not the reality of its represented content.’
    • ‘The materiality of business, in the various forms of commercial transactions, is itself part of one's culture.’
    • ‘Is there no materiality except for the materiality of language?’
    • ‘Aside from whatever you want to say about the materiality of painting, or of how these works are the result of a conceptual practice, the encapsulation of time within them is staggering.’
    • ‘While exploiting the materiality of the mirror, her writing's primary interest is in the compelling intangibility of the reflection.’
    the real world, real life, actuality
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law The quality of being relevant or significant.
      ‘the applicant must establish materiality on the balance of probabilities’
      • ‘Give them equal significance; each is of equal materiality and significance.’
      • ‘He did not produce the documents before the trial and, indeed, did not produce them during his cross-examination, despite their materiality having been made evident.’
      • ‘The Tribunal must consider the materiality and substantiality of the employer's reason.’
      • ‘Its materiality could only have the quality of materiality if it did more than record the bare fact that this was, in fact, a lease without the mortgagee's consent.’
      • ‘But the unconscionability of the transaction remains of direct materiality to the case based on undue influence.’