Definition of matter of fact in US English:

matter of fact


  • 1Something that belongs to the sphere of fact as distinct from opinion or conjecture.

    ‘it's a matter of fact that they had a relationship’
    • ‘An interpretation is a matter of opinion; it is not a matter of fact.’
    • ‘You don't have debates about whether the earth goes round the sun or not; it's a matter of fact.’
    • ‘So far as the head teacher is concerned, it is a matter of fact that he did exclude him.’
    • ‘Some were matters of opinion, others were matters of fact.’
    • ‘The extent of flooding is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact.’
    • ‘You have raised a matter of fact and I have no reason to doubt you.’
    • ‘These matters of fact aside, the fear of Greenland melting is itself misplaced.’
    • ‘The awfulness of it all is a matter of fact and no one feels the need to flourish a lot of adjectives to describe their feelings.’
    practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, sensible, down-to-earth, commonsensical, hard-headed, expedient, businesslike, with both feet on the ground, with one's feet on the ground, rational, reasonable, no-nonsense, unsentimental, unidealistic
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    1. 1.1Law The part of a judicial inquiry concerned with the truth of alleged facts.
      Often contrasted with matter of law
      • ‘Certain matters of fact and law are common to the two applications and motions, as will be apparent from the reasons for decision on the two motions.’
      • ‘In the end it becomes a matter of fact for the judge to decide.’
      • ‘It is an inquiry into matters of fact, just as a civil trial is an inquiry into matters of fact, and then a determination of whether negligence existed, for example.’
      • ‘The second is that it is a matter of fact what caused the specific loss.’
      • ‘So how can they rule against me on a matter of fact when the facts were there?’


  • 1Unemotional and practical.

    ‘he was characteristically calm and matter-of-fact’
    • ‘He had reached the matter-of-fact realisation that law was, simply, a form of alchemy.’
    • ‘The key to the technique is to describe ‘in a matter-of-fact way’ what's happening on screen when no one's talking without giving away the plot.’
    • ‘The greatest trump card that he has to offer is his practical, matter-of-fact approach to tackling world poverty.’
    • ‘The exercise evokes no emotion, only matter-of-fact acknowledgment.’
    • ‘If something embarrassing or exciting happens, the film presents it in a matter-of-fact, straightforward way.’
    • ‘He tried to keep his tone matter-of-fact and business-like, but he couldn't completely hide the quiver of emotion as he spoke of leaving her.’
    • ‘How can one so young be so matter-of-fact about death?’
    • ‘Younger Europeans take Europe for granted in a matter-of-fact way.’
    • ‘Steely and matter-of-fact, the Commonwealth super middleweight champion is part of an exciting wave of British talent set to swell on the world scene over the next two years.’
    • ‘He was just being matter-of-fact, tossing out a number that seems like a distant memory, like gas under $2.’
    • ‘A down to-earth matter-of-fact approach devoid of judgment is best, no matter how horrific the details.’
    • ‘And the work you did was more practical, more matter-of-fact than a liberal cause or a conservative crusade.’
    • ‘‘Nobody made a great deal about it, but it was generally accepted in a matter-of-fact way,’ he said.’
    • ‘You're speaking about this in a very calm, matter-of-fact way, but it must have been a very strange, even emotional, experience.’
    • ‘They are so matter-of-fact about it all that you never really get the sense of desperation or abjection that we're used to seeing in heroin narratives.’
    • ‘His callous, matter-of-fact handling of the ropes, straps and paraphernalia of violent death was a despicable sight to see.’
    • ‘That, once again, was enough to generate peels of laughter as the crowd appreciated the new minister's matter-of-fact approach to life and business.’
    • ‘She is blunt, matter-of-fact and, as a result, inspiring.’
    • ‘He is very matter-of-fact about this, and I feel sorry for him when he looks at the state of the country, for which he fought so bravely, with so much disappointment.’
    • ‘The doctor was matter-of-fact but considerate.’
    unemotional, practical, down-to-earth, sensible, realistic, rational, sober, unsentimental, pragmatic, businesslike, commonsensical, level-headed, hard-headed, no-nonsense, factual, literal, straightforward, plain, unembellished, unvarnished, unadorned, prosaic, mundane, unimaginative, uncreative, deadpan, flat, dull, dry, pedestrian, lifeless, humdrum
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    1. 1.1 Concerned only with factual content rather than style or expression.
      ‘the text is written in a breezy matter-of-fact manner’
      • ‘That last short sentence is so matter-of-fact, and describes such an everyday event, that I bet you hardly noticed it.’
      • ‘It is an apologetic note, but the matter-of-fact detail telling how the gang smashed a window and helped themselves to beer and crisps is a perfect example of how yobs are curtailing the work of the church.’
      • ‘It is expressed not in high-flown language but as a down-to-earth matter-of-fact promise.’
      • ‘In a matter-of-fact style, great violence is done, but little action.’
      • ‘The visual style is matter-of-fact and almost cinéma vérité, as if the camera is as furtive a spectator as the kidnapper with his telescopic sight.’
      • ‘Incredibly, both of them survived to tell the tale, and they do so here in the same detailed, matter-of-fact language you imagine Scott of the Antarctic would have used.’
      • ‘These seemingly matter-of-fact, prosaic pictures are frequently animated by a quality that suggests the spiritual.’
      • ‘It's an affecting albeit matter-of-fact portrayal.’
      • ‘But much of the detail lies lost between his matter-of-fact lines.’
      • ‘The sentences were short and direct and, unsurprising in a letter to a stranger, largely matter-of-fact.’
      • ‘It's not an insult, simply a matter-of-fact statement.’
      • ‘Some are straightforward and matter-of-fact, while others are essayistic.’
      • ‘The sober and matter-of-fact presentation makes his discussion seem like just common sense.’
      • ‘Beyond that, her soprano is strangely colorless, and her projection of the text flat and matter-of-fact.’
      • ‘His own description of his ‘enlightenment’ is, in fact, remarkably prosaic and matter-of-fact.’
      truthful, true, accurate, authentic, historical, genuine, fact-based, realistic, real
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  • as a matter of fact

    • In reality (used especially to correct a falsehood or misunderstanding)

      ‘as a matter of fact, I was talking to him this afternoon’
      • ‘Now as a matter of fact there are few better times and places to set a novel than in Victorian England.’
      • ‘I was at that show and, as a matter of fact, I saw your bike getting smashed.’
      • ‘The police will tell you, as a matter of fact, that they are extremely interested in this guy.’
      • ‘I was in the Caribbean, as a matter of fact, on a vacation and I called him right away.’
      • ‘Yes, as a matter of fact, I had been given kind of the death sentence back at the beginning of the year.’
      • ‘Everyone did quite well on their own, as a matter of fact, and I was extraneous, to say the least.’
      • ‘I think that particular someone may have been me, as a matter of fact - but I do know what he means.’
      • ‘Just tonight, as a matter of fact, we were up in Buffalo and we had a dinner of several hundred people.’
      • ‘It sent out cards, this card as a matter of fact, wishing a holiday season of hope and happiness.’
      • ‘No one has ever made a factual objection to anything that appears in my movie or my book, as a matter of fact.’
      actually, in actual fact, in fact, in point of fact, as it happens, really, believe it or not, in reality, in truth, to tell the truth, truly
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