from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A hypothetical base substance from which all chemical elements were believed to have been made; subatomic particles.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The hypothetical homogeneous cosmic material of the original universe, supposed to have been differentiated into what are recognized as distinct chemical elements.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An imagined supersensible, imponderable, indifferent, or primal substance, from which all forms of living matter are supposed to be derived by modification, differentiation, or specialization. Also called variously biod, biogen, zoëther, psychoplasm, etc.
- n. A hypothetical form of primal, undifferentiated matter from which, it has been imagined, by granulation or segregation of minute but definite masses may have been produced the atoms of the various chemical elements.
From proto- + Ancient Greek ὕλη (hulē, "timber, material"). (Wiktionary)