Manner vs. Matter — What's the Difference?
By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 9, 2023
Manner refers to a way in which something is done or takes place, while "Matter" implies substance, content, or a subject of discussion.
Difference Between Manner and Matter
Table of Contents
Manner typically addresses the way something is done, executed, or performed, being closely associated with style, method, or a way of doing things. Matter, on the other hand, is often tied to a substance from which things are made or can also pertain to a topic or subject matter in various contexts.
In terms of contextual use, "Manner" can often be found in contexts that describe behavioral or procedural attributes, hence focusing on how actions are executed or how individuals behave. Conversely, "Matter" is used in contexts discussing physical substances, or more abstractly, to topics, issues, or subjects of discussion or concern.
From a grammatical standpoint, "Manner" frequently operates within sentences as a noun that can be modified by adjectives to describe the way something is done (e.g., in a polite manner). "Matter" also functions as a noun and can denote physical substance or refer to a topic or subject that can be discussed or dealt with (e.g., a legal matter).
In various expressions and idioms within English, "Manner" and "Matter" also hold distinct places. "Manner" is often used in idioms like “to the manner born” or “in a like manner”, portraying a particular way or style of living or doing something. "Matter", however, might appear in expressions like “a matter of time” or “no laughing matter”, demonstrating its flexibility in discussing issues or subjects.
Culturally and scientifically, "Matter" holds significance in discussions ranging from physical substances in scientific discourse to issues of societal concern in daily conversations. "Manner", while also pervasive, often retains its focus on detailing the way things are done or how individuals behave in various cultural or social contexts.
A way in which something is done or occurs.
Physical substance or a subject of discussion.
Describes behavior or procedural attributes.
Used to discuss physical substances or topics.
Commonly a noun modified by adjectives.
Functions as a noun discussing substance or topic.
Appears in idioms discussing ways of doing.
Utilized in idioms and phrases about subjects.
Pertains to descriptions of actions or behaviors.
Holds diverse references from physical to societal topics.
Compare with Definitions
Behavioral characteristics of individuals.
Her polite manner was appreciated by the guests.
Substance that occupies space and possesses mass.
Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space.
The operational mode or method.
The machine operates in a specific manner.
A situation or subject of importance.
Safety is a matter of utmost priority.
A way of acting or performing.
His manner of speaking was quite eloquent.
A problem or reason for disagreement.
The matter was resolved peacefully.
Customary or habitual way of behaving.
He conducted himself in a professional manner.
In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic particles, and in everyday as well as scientific usage, "matter" generally includes atoms and anything made up of them, and any particles (or combination of particles) that act as if they have both rest mass and volume.
A way in which a thing is done or happens
Taking notes in an unobtrusive manner
Physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy
The structure and properties of matter
A person's outward bearing or way of behaving towards others
His arrogance and pompous manner
A subject or situation under consideration
A great deal of work was done on this matter
Polite or well-bred social behaviour
Didn't your mother teach you any manners?
The reason for distress or a problem
What's the matter?
A way of doing something or the way in which a thing is done or happens
Prepared for the trip in a very organized manner.
The substance or content of a text as distinct from its style or form.
A way of acting; bearing or behavior
He is known for his reserved manner.
Be important or significant
It doesn't matter what the guests wear
What did it matter to them?
The socially correct way of acting; etiquette
Had trouble mastering manners in his new country.
(of a wound) secrete or discharge pus.
The prevailing customs, social conduct, and norms of a specific society, period, or group, especially as the subject of a literary work
A novel of 18th-century manners.
That which occupies space and has mass; physical substance.
Practice, style, execution, or method in the arts
This fresco is typical of the painter's early manner.
A type of such substance
What manner of person is she?.
Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.
Saw all manner of people at the mall.
(Philosophy) In Aristotelian and Scholastic use, that which is in itself undifferentiated and formless and which, as the subject of change and development, receives form and becomes substance.
Mode of action; way of performing or doing anything
The substance of thought or expression as opposed to the manner in which it is stated or conveyed.
Characteristic mode of acting or behaving; bearing
His natural manner makes him seem like the boss.
A subject of concern, feeling, or action
Matters of foreign policy.
A personal matter.
One's customary method of acting; habit.
These people have strange manners.
Trouble or difficulty
What's the matter with your car?.
Good, polite behaviour.
An approximated quantity, amount, or extent
The construction will last a matter of years.
The style of writing or thought of an author; the characteristic peculiarity of an artist.
Something printed or otherwise set down in writing
A certain degree or measure.
It is in a manner done already.
To be of importance
"Love is most nearly itself / When here and now cease to matter" (T.S. Eliot).
Sort; kind; style.
All manner of persons participate.
(uncountable) Material; substance.
Standards of conduct cultured and product of mind.
(physics) The basic structural component of the universe, usually having mass and volume.
Mode of action; way of performing or effecting anything; method; style; form; fashion.
The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land.
The temptations of prosperity insinuate themselves after a gentle, but very powerful, manner.
(physics) Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles.
Characteristic mode of acting, conducting, carrying one's self, or the like; bearing; habitual style.
Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them.
Air and manner are more expressive than words.
A kind of substance.
Carriage; behavior; deportment; also, becoming behavior; well-bred carriage and address; as, mind your manners!.
Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.
Material, especially in books or magazines.
He always took some reading matter with him on the plane.
Certain degree or measure; as, it is in a manner done already.
The bread is in a manner common.
(philosophy) Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.
The style of writing or thought of an author; characteristic peculiarity of an artist.
An affair, condition, or subject, especially one of concern or (especially when preceded by the) one that is problematic.
Is much the matter with the old plan?
Something is the matter with him.
Sort; kind; style; - in this application sometimes having the sense of a plural, sorts or kinds; as, all manners of people came to the rally.
And they being afraid wondered, saying to one another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and the water, and they obey him.
Ye tithe mint, and rue, and all manner of herbs.
I bid thee say,What manner of man art thou?
An approximate amount or extent.
I stayed for a matter of months.
How something is done or how it happens;
Her dignified manner
His rapid manner of talking
Their nomadic mode of existence
In the characteristic New York style
A lonely way of life
In an abrasive fashion
(obsolete) essence; pith; embodiment.
A way of acting or behaving
(obsolete) (The) inducing cause or reason, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing.
What manner of man are you?
To be important.
The only thing that matters to Jim is being rich.
Sorry for pouring ketchup on your clean white shirt! - Oh, don't worry, it does not matter.
The style or way in which something is constructed.
The manner of this artwork is reminiscent of Picasso.
To care about, to mind; to find important.
To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.
That of which anything is composed; constituent substance; material; the material or substantial part of anything; the constituent elements of conception; that into which a notion may be analyzed; the essence; the pith; the embodiment.
He is the matter of virtue.
That of which the sensible universe and all existent bodies are composed; anything which has extension, occupies space, or is perceptible by the senses; body; substance.
That with regard to, or about which, anything takes place or is done; the thing aimed at, treated of, or treated; subject of action, discussion, consideration, feeling, complaint, legal action, or the like; theme.
Son of God, Savior of men! Thy nameShall be the copious matter of my song.
Every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge.
That which one has to treat, or with which one has to do; concern; affair; business.
To help the matter, the alchemists call in many vanities out of astrology.
Some young female seems to have carried matters so far, that she is ripe for asking advice.
Affair worthy of account; thing of consequence; importance; significance; moment; - chiefly in the phrases what matter? no matter, and the like.
A prophet some, and some a poet, cry;No matter which, so neither of them lie.
Inducing cause or occasion, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing; difficulty; trouble.
And this is the matter why interpreters upon that passage in Hosea will not consent it to be a true story, that the prophet took a harlot to wife.
Amount; quantity; portion; space; - often indefinite.
Away he goes, . . . a matter of seven miles.
I have thoughts to tarry a small matter.
No small matter of British forces were commanded over sea the year before.
Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess; pus; purulent substance.
That which is permanent, or is supposed to be given, and in or upon which changes are effected by psychological or physical processes and relations; - opposed to form.
Written manuscript, or anything to be set in type; copy; also, type set up and ready to be used, or which has been used, in printing.
Waller, with Sir William Balfour, exceeded in horse, but were, upon the whole matter, equal in foot.
To be of importance; to import; to signify.
It matters not how they were called.
To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.
To regard as important; to take account of; to care for.
He did not matter cold nor hunger.
That which has mass and occupies space;
An atom is the smallest indivisible unit of matter
A vaguely specified concern;
Several matters to attend to
It is none of your affair
Things are going well
Some situation or event that is thought about;
He kept drifting off the topic
He had been thinking about the subject for several years
It is a matter for the police
Is anything the matter?
(used with negation) having consequence;
They were friends and it was no matter who won the games
Written works (especially in books or magazines);
He always took some reading matter with him on the plane
Have weight; have import, carry weight;
It does not matter much
A topic or subject under discussion.
The matter of discussion was climate change.
Physical substance or material.
The scientist examined the matter under a microscope.
What are the primary contexts where Matter is used?
Matter is primarily used to discuss physical substance or a topic/subject of discussion.
Does Manner always describe positive behaviors?
No, Manner simply describes a way of acting, which can be positive, negative, or neutral.
What does Manner refer to in general English usage?
Manner typically refers to the way in which something is done or occurs.
Can Manner refer to behavioral aspects?
Yes, Manner often refers to behavioral characteristics or ways of behaving.
Can Matter refer to a problem or dispute?
Yes, Matter can refer to a problem, dispute, or subject of concern that may need resolution.
Is Matter always related to physical substance?
No, Matter can also refer to a topic, issue, or subject of discussion.
How is Matter utilized in scientific contexts?
In science, Matter generally refers to any substance that has mass and takes up space.
Is Matter used in legal terminology?
Yes, Matter is often used in legal contexts to refer to a subject or issue under discussion or consideration.
Can Manner describe a method of doing something?
Yes, Manner can describe the method or way in which something is done.
Can Manner and Matter be used interchangeably?
No, Manner and Matter have distinct meanings and are not used interchangeably.
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Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.