From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
“I admit that it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the soul than to concede the capacity to move a body and to be moved by it to an immaterial thing” --Elisabeth of the Palatinate, criticizing Descartes' dualism.
Matter is a poorly-defined term in science. The term has often been used in reference to a substance (often a particle) that has rest mass. Matter is also used loosely as a general term for the substance that makes up all observable physical objects.
From Middle English mater, matere, from Anglo-Norman matere, materie, from Old French materie, matiere, from Latin materia (“matter, stuff, material”), derivative of Latin mater (“mother”). Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork (“material, matter”) (from Old English andweorc (“matter, substance, material”)), Old English intinga (“matter, affair, business”).