Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of no importance or relevance; inconsequential or irrelevant.
  • adj. Having no material body or form.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having no matter or substance.
  • adj. Irrelevant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not consisting of matter; incorporeal; spiritual; disembodied.
  • adj. Of no substantial consequence; without weight or significance; unimportant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not consisting of matter; not material.
  • Without special significance or importance; of no essential consequence; unimportant.
  • Specifically, in law:
  • Not relevant; having no bearing on the question: as, immaterial evidence.
  • Not absolutely essential to constitute the cause of action or defense: as, an immaterial averment (a statement of unnecessary particulars).
  • Synonyms Unessential, non-essential, insignificant.
  • n. Something not material.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. without material form or substance
  • adj. not pertinent to the matter under consideration
  • adj. (often followed by `to') lacking importance; not mattering one way or the other
  • adj. not consisting of matter
  • adj. of no importance or relevance especially to a law case

Etymologies

im- +‎ material (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • [NOTE TO SELF, FIND THIS: Sergio Bologna, "Problematiche del lavoro autonomo in Italia" (Part I), Altreragioni, no. 1 (1992), pp. 11-32; discussion of the term immaterial labor on 10-27.]

    What in the hell ...

  • Meanwhile, Mr. Tondato said Autogrill has suffered minimal impact from the ongoing crisis in Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami, with what he described as an "immaterial decrease" in boarding cards to and from Japan in recent days.

    Autogrill Expands Starbucks Contract

  • Even among people who believe in immaterial concepts like mind, there would be much disagreement over the cause of the concepts.

    Backing Into an Evidentiary Standard for ID

  • For someone to imagine the immaterial when neither they nor anyone else has ever experienced the immaterial is rather like trying to imagine a fifth dimension -- it is something so far out of our perception that conceiving of it seems nearly impossible.

    Living in the Material World

  • To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul.

    Think Progress » ElBaradei, Smeared By Administration, Wins Nobel Peace Prize

  • One step advanced beyond this, Jerry's uttermost, the folk of Somo, from the contemplation of death, had achieved concepts of the spirits of the dead still living in immaterial and supersensuous realms.

    Chapter 15

  • Even his shingle read: "Ladies 'Tailor: Abramka Stiftik" -- the most valid proof that he deemed his name immaterial, but that the chief thing to him was his art.

    Best Russian Short Stories

  • One step advanced beyond this, Jerry’s uttermost, the folk of Somo, from the contemplation of death, had achieved concepts of the spirits of the dead still living in immaterial and supersensuous realms.

    CHAPTER XV

  • David McGowan, San Diego: The form license debate is endlessly repetitive and focuses on something everybody knows is immaterial, which is assent.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • I dislike both of those words, because for me, the so-called immaterial and spiritual is always vested in the fleshly — in "the holy and glorious flesh," as Dante said.

    Oliver Sacks on Earworms, Stevie Wonder and the View From Mescaline Mountain

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