Ask Difference

Mater vs. Matter — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 6, 2023
"Mater" is a Latin term meaning "mother," while "matter" refers to a physical substance or material in English. Conversely, "matter" denotes the substance of which physical objects are composed, and "mater" is an archaic or formal term for mother.
Mater vs. Matter — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Mater and Matter

ADVERTISEMENT

Key Differences

Mater is a Latin term that translates to "mother" in English. It often carries a formal or archaic tone and is rarely used in everyday language. Matter, on the other hand, refers to physical substances—anything that has mass and occupies space. It is a common term in science and everyday usage.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
In classical education, mater might refer to a school or university that one has attended, derived from the phrase "alma mater." In contrast, matter is used in various contexts, from legal (subject matter) to philosophical (matter of concern).
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
Mater can also be seen in genealogy or historical contexts when referring to matriarchal figures or ancestries. In contrast, matter is a fundamental concept in physics, representing all forms of material existence.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
While mater resonates with familial and academic sentiment, matter is a staple in discussions ranging from physics to everyday concerns about what is important — what matters.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
Mater might also be used as a title in a religious context, as in "Mater Dei" (Mother of God), while matter is inherently secular, grounded in the physical and empirical world.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Etymology

Latin for "mother."
Latin for "substance," "subject," etc.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Usage

Formal, archaic, specific contexts.
Broad, common in science and daily use.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Common Associations

Motherhood, schools, historical titles.
Physics, material existence, importance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Contextual Application

Familial, educational, religious.
Physical, legal, philosophical, practical.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Grammatical Usage

Noun (proper noun in some contexts).
Noun (can be used abstractly).
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Mater

Used in British English as a colloquial or affectionate term for one's mother.
He went home for the weekend to visit his mater.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

Anything that occupies space and has mass.
Scientists study the properties of matter.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Mater

A term used for a school or university, typically one's own.
He donated generously to his alma mater.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

A situation or set of conditions.
The matter at hand requires immediate attention.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Mater

A formal or affectionate term for mother.
In her will, she left everything to her beloved mater.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

Printed material, as opposed to illustrations or blank space.
The book's matter was both engaging and informative.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Mater

In religious contexts, it can refer to the Virgin Mary or mother church.
The cathedral was named Mater Dei.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

In historical or genealogical contexts, a reference to a female ancestor.
The family tree was traced back to the founding mater.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

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
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

Mother
The mater has kept on the house in London
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A subject or situation under consideration
Financial matters
A great deal of work was done on this matter
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

Mother.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

The reason for distress or a problem
What's the matter?
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

Mother.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

The substance or content of a text as distinct from its style or form.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

(anatomy) A meninx; the dura mater, arachnoid mater, or pia mater of the brain.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Be important or significant
It doesn't matter what the guests wear
What did it matter to them?
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

(biology) Someone or something that mates.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(of a wound) secrete or discharge pus.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

See Alma mater, Dura mater, and Pia mater.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

That which occupies space and has mass; physical substance.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Mater

Informal terms for a mother
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A type of such substance
Organic matter.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Discharge or waste, such as pus or feces, from a living organism.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

The substance of thought or expression as opposed to the manner in which it is stated or conveyed.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A subject of concern, feeling, or action
Matters of foreign policy.
A personal matter.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Trouble or difficulty
What's the matter with your car?.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

An approximated quantity, amount, or extent
The construction will last a matter of years.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Something printed or otherwise set down in writing
Reading matter.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To be of importance
"Love is most nearly itself / When here and now cease to matter" (T.S. Eliot).
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(uncountable) Material; substance.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(physics) The basic structural component of the universe, usually having mass and volume.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(physics) Matter made up of normal particles, not antiparticles.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A kind of substance.
Vegetable matter
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Material, especially in books or magazines.
He always took some reading matter with him on the plane.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(philosophy) Aristotelian: undeveloped potentiality subject to change and development; formlessness. Matter receives form, and becomes substance.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
State matters
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

An approximate amount or extent.
I stayed for a matter of months.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(obsolete) essence; pith; embodiment.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(obsolete) (The) inducing cause or reason, especially of anything disagreeable or distressing.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To care about, to mind; to find important.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Substance excreted from living animal bodies; that which is thrown out or discharged in a tumor, boil, or abscess; pus; purulent substance.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To be of importance; to import; to signify.
It matters not how they were called.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To form pus or matter, as an abscess; to maturate.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

To regard as important; to take account of; to care for.
He did not matter cold nor hunger.
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

That which has mass and occupies space;
An atom is the smallest indivisible unit of matter
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A vaguely specified concern;
Several matters to attend to
It is none of your affair
Things are going well
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

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
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A problem;
Is anything the matter?
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

(used with negation) having consequence;
They were friends and it was no matter who won the games
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Written works (especially in books or magazines);
He always took some reading matter with him on the plane
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

Have weight; have import, carry weight;
It does not matter much
Tayyaba Rehman
May 16, 2018

Matter

A subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation.
The matter of the conference was global warming.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Matter

An affair or situation under consideration; a problem.
We must attend to the matter before us promptly.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Common Curiosities

What does 'mater' mean?

Mater is a Latin term meaning "mother" and is also used for schools or universities.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

What does 'alma mater' mean?

"Alma mater" refers to a person's former school or university, literally "nurturing mother."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Is 'mater' commonly used in modern English?

Mater is not commonly used in modern English; it has a formal or archaic tone.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Can 'matter' be used in a non-physical sense?

Yes, matter can refer to a subject or problem, as in "a matter of concern."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

What is the plural form of 'mater'?

The plural form of mater is "matres" in Latin, but "maters" can be used informally.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Is 'mater' ever used colloquially?

In British English, mater can be a colloquial term for one's mother.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

What is 'matter' in a scientific context?

In science, matter is anything that has mass and occupies space.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Is 'mater' used in legal terminology?

Mater is not typically used in legal terms; matter is, as in "subject matter."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

How do you pronounce 'mater'?

Mater is pronounced "may-ter" or "mah-ter," depending on the context.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

What types of matter are there?

Types of matter include solids, liquids, gases, and plasma.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Does 'matter' have a verb form?

Yes, as a verb, matter means to be of importance, as in "Your opinion matters."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Are there idiomatic expressions that use 'mater'?

No common idioms use mater, while matter is found in phrases like "as a matter of fact."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Can 'matter' ever be intangible?

Yes, in non-physical contexts, matter can be intangible, such as a topic of discussion.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

What's a common use of 'matter' in everyday language?

A common use is to indicate importance, as in "It doesn't matter."
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Is 'mater' ever used in biology?

Mater is not used in biology; matter is used to refer to organic or inorganic material.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 06, 2023

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Link
Previous Comparison
Confidante vs. Confidant

Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
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.

Popular Comparisons

Featured Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms