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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does state of matter mean? 

  The noun STATE OF MATTER has 1 sense:

1. (chemistry) the three traditional states of matter are solids (fixed shape and volume) and liquids (fixed volume and shaped by the container) and gases (filling the container)

  Familiarity information: STATE OF MATTER used as a noun is very rare.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1state of matter [BACK TO TOP]


(chemistry) the three traditional states of matter are solids (fixed shape and volume) and liquids (fixed volume and shaped by the container) and gases (filling the container)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs


state of matter; state

Context example:

the solid state of water is called ice

Hypernyms ("state of matter" is a kind of...):

chemical phenomenon (any natural phenomenon involving chemistry (as changes to atoms or molecules))


solid (of definite shape and volume; firm; neither liquid nor gaseous)

liquid (existing as or having characteristics of a liquid; especially tending to flow)

gaseous (existing as or having characteristics of a gas)

Domain category:

chemical science; chemistry (the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "state of matter"):

form; phase ((physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary)

liquid; liquid state; liquidity; liquidness (the state in which a substance exhibits a characteristic readiness to flow with little or no tendency to disperse and relatively high incompressibility)

solid; solid state; solidness (the state in which a substance has no tendency to flow under moderate stress; resists forces (such as compression) that tend to deform it; and retains a definite size and shape)

gas; gaseous state (the state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by: relatively low density and viscosity; relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure and temperature; the ability to diffuse readily; and the spontaneous tendency to become distributed uniformly throughout any container)

plasma ((physical chemistry) a fourth state of matter distinct from solid or liquid or gas and present in stars and fusion reactors; a gas becomes a plasma when it is heated until the atoms lose all their electrons, leaving a highly electrified collection of nuclei and free electrons)

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