Ask Difference

Material vs. Resource — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on August 31, 2023
Material refers to a substance or substances from which things are made, while resource is a source of supply or support, often used for a particular purpose.
Material vs. Resource — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Material and Resource

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Key Differences

Material and resource are terms that often intersect but have distinct meanings. A material is primarily the substance or substances used to make something, while a resource is a broader term referring to any supply, whether tangible or intangible, that can be drawn upon when needed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023
When considering material, one might think of physical elements, such as wood, metal, or fabric. These are substances that can be used to construct or create items. On the other hand, when considering resource, one might think of not just physical items, but also skills, time, or information that can be utilized.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023
Material often has a more tangible aspect to it. For instance, when building a house, the bricks, cement, and wood are materials. However, resource can be broader, encompassing the funds to purchase those materials, the labor needed to build the house, or even the knowledge required for its construction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023
Material typically denotes the physical components required for a specific task or product. For example, in sewing, the fabric is the primary material. Meanwhile, a resource in this context might encompass the sewing machine, the person's sewing skills, or the pattern they're using.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023
Furthermore, while materials are often consumable or transformable (like metal being turned into a product), a resource might be renewable or reusable, like a database of information or a reservoir of water.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Typically tangible
Can be tangible or intangible
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Usage

Used in the creation or construction of items
Used to aid, support, or accomplish a task
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Scope

Narrower (specific substances)
Broader (includes supplies, skills, information)
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Transformability

Often consumable or transformable
Can be renewable or reusable
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Examples

Wood, metal, fabric
Money, skills, time, information
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Compare with Definitions

Material

A substance used for making things.
Steel is a key material in building skyscrapers.
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Resource

A supply or source drawn upon for a purpose.
The library was a valuable resource for her research.
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Aug 27, 2023

Material

A material is a substance or mixture of substances that constitutes an object. Materials can be pure or impure, living or non-living matter.
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Feb 23, 2022

Resource

A means of support or aid.
Renewable energy is a key resource for a sustainable future.
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Material

Physical substances collectively.
The artist uses various materials in her sculptures.
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Resource

Ability to meet situations; resourcefulness.
With limited tools, his resource was impressive.
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Material

Matter which may be shaped or manipulated, particularly in making something.
Asphalt, composed of oil and sand, is a widely used material for roads.
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Resource

Available wealth or assets.
The country's mineral resources bring significant revenue.
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Aug 27, 2023

Material

Related data of various kinds, especially if collected as the basis for a document or book.
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Resource

A stock or reserve of money or commodities.
The oil resource in the region is vast.
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Material

Pertaining to physical objects or substances.
The material world contrasts with the spiritual one.
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Resource

Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be classified upon their availability — they are classified into renewable and non-renewable resources.
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Material

(chess) All of a player's pieces and pawns on the chessboard.
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Resource

Often resources An available supply, especially of money, that can be drawn on when needed.
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Material

Text written for a specific purpose.
We were a warm-up act at the time; we didn't have enough original material to headline.
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Resource

The ability to deal with a difficult or troublesome situation effectively; resourcefulness
A person of resource.
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Material

The substance that something is made or composed of.
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Resource

Resources The total means available to a company for increasing production or profit, including plant, labor, and raw material; assets.
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Material

To form from matter; to materialize.
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Resource

Such means considered individually.
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Material

Something, such as an idea or information, that is to be refined and made or incorporated into a finished effort
Material for a comedy.
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Resource

Something that one uses to achieve an objective, e.g. raw materials or personnel.
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Material

Things needed for doing or making something;
Writing materials
Useful teaching materials
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Resource

To supply with resources.
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Material

The substance or substances out of which a thing is or can be made.
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Resource

Something that is available for use or that can be used for support or help
The local library is a valuable resource.
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Material

Materials Tools or apparatus for the performance of a given task
Writing materials.
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Resource

Resources The total means available for economic and political development, such as mineral wealth, labor force, and armaments.
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Material

Yard goods or cloth.
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Resource

A person's capacity to deal with difficulty.
A man or woman of resource
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Material

A person who is qualified or suited for a position or activity
The members of the board felt that she was vice-presidential material.
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Resource

Something that can be used to help achieve an aim, especially a book, equipment, etc. that provides information for teachers and students.
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Material

Of, relating to, or composed of matter.
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Resource

(networking) Hardware or software accessible by a computer, network, or another object connected to a computer.
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Material

Of, relating to, or affecting physical well-being; bodily
"the moral and material welfare of all good citizens" (Theodore Roosevelt).
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Resource

To source anew or differently; to find or provide a new source for.
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Feb 23, 2022

Material

Of or concerned with the physical as distinct from the intellectual or spiritual
"Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
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Feb 23, 2022

Resource

That to which one resorts orr on which one depends for supply or support; means of overcoming a difficulty; resort; expedient.
Threat'nings mixed with prayers, his last resource.
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Material

Being both relevant and consequential; crucial
Testimony material to the inquiry.
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Resource

Pecuniary means; funds; money, or any property that can be converted into supplies; available means or capabilities of any kind.
Scotland by no means escaped the fate ordained for every country which is connected, but not incorporated, with another country of greater resources.
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Material

(Philosophy) Of or relating to the matter of reasoning, rather than the form.
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Resource

Available source of wealth; a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed
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Material

Consisting of matter; not spiritual; corporeal; physical; as, material substance or bodies.
The material elements of the universe.
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Resource

A source of aid or support that may be drawn upon when needed;
The local library is a valuable resource
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Material

Of solid or weighty character; not insubstantial; of consequence; not be dispensed with; important; significant.
Discourse, which was always material, never trifling.
I shall, in the account of simple ideas, set down only such as are most material to our present purpose.
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Resource

The ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems;
A man of resource
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Material

Pertaining to the matter, as opposed to the form, of a thing. See Matter.
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Resource

A means that can be used to cope with a difficult situation; an expedient
Needed all my intellectual resources for the exam.
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Feb 23, 2022

Material

The substance or matter of which anything is made or may be made.
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Material

To form from matter; to materialize.
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Material

Information (data or ideas or observations) that can be used or reworked into a finished form;
The archives provided rich material for a definitive biography
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Feb 23, 2022

Material

A person judged suitable for admission or employment;
He was university material
She was vice-presidential material
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Feb 23, 2022

Material

Concerned with worldly rather than spiritual interests;
Material possessions
Material wealth
Material comforts
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Material

Relevant and significant.
The witness provided material evidence to the case.
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Material

Having to do with matter; consisting of matter.
This compound has a number of interesting material properties.
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Material

Worldly, as opposed to spiritual.
Don't let material concerns get in the way of living a happy life.
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Material

Significant.
You've made several material contributions to this project.
This is the most material fact in this lawsuit.
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Material

A sample or specimens for study.
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Material

Cloth to be made into a garment. Fabric.
You'll need about a yard of material to make this.
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Material

A person, or people collectively, who are qualified for a certain position or activity.
Boy/girlfriend material
Marriage material
We have lots of presidential material in various public offices.
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Feb 23, 2022

Material

Pertaining to, or affecting, the physical nature of man, as distinguished from the mental or moral nature; relating to the bodily wants, interests, and comforts; as, material well-being; material comforts.
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Material

The tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object;
Coal is a hard black material
Wheat is the stuff they use to make bread
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Material

Artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers;
The fabric in the curtains was light and semitraqnsparent
Woven cloth originated in Mesopotamia around 5000 BC
She measured off enough material for a dress
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Material

Derived from or composed of matter;
The material universe
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Material

Directly relevant to a matter especially a law case;
His support made a material difference
Evidence material to the issue at hand
Facts likely to influence the judgment are called material facts
A material witness
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Material

Concerned with or affecting physical as distinct from intellectual or psychological well-being;
Material needs
The moral and material welfare of all good citizens
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Material

Having material or physical form or substance;
That which is created is of necessity corporeal and visible and tangible
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Material

Having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary;
The substantial world
A mere dream, neither substantial nor practical
Most ponderous and substantial things
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Material

Cloth or fabric.
She bought material for her new dress.
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Common Curiosities

What is a "material" primarily used for?

A material is a substance or substances used to make or construct something.
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Aug 31, 2023

Is every material also a resource?

While materials can be resources if they are drawn upon for a purpose, not every material is considered a resource in every context.
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Are all resources tangible?

No, resources can be both tangible (like tools) and intangible (like skills or knowledge).
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Is "material" always a physical substance?

While material often refers to physical substances, it can also refer to relevant or significant information in certain contexts.
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Aug 31, 2023

What is an example of an intangible resource?

Skills, knowledge, or intellectual property are examples of intangible resources.
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How is the term "material" used in a legal context?

In a legal context, "material" often means relevant or significant, as in "material evidence."
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Aug 31, 2023

Can a person be considered a resource?

Yes, often in contexts where their skills, knowledge, or capabilities are drawn upon, like in a business setting.
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What's an example where both "material" and "resource" can be used interchangeably?

In the context of supplies for a task, like "We have all the materials/resources needed for the project." However, nuances might still differ.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023

Can information be considered a "material"?

Not usually. Information is typically considered a resource rather than a material.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023

How does "resource" differ from "material"?

A resource is a broader term that can be tangible or intangible, used as a supply or support for a purpose, while material is typically a tangible substance.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 31, 2023

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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.

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