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See also: hýle


Alternative forms[edit]


One of several English variants (in casu Modern English, in the 17th and 18th century) for the Medieval Latin hyle, a transliteration of Aristotle’s concept of matter, in Ancient Greek ὕλη (húlē, wood(s), material(s), matter, subject) or πρώτη ὕλη (prṓtē húlē, fundamental, undifferentiated matter)


hyle (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete, philosophy) matter
  2. The first matter of the cosmos, from which the four elements arose, according to the doctrines of Empedocles and Aristotle.


  • OED: The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, Oxford University Press, 1989




  • (file)


hyle (imperative hyl, infinitive at hyle, present tense hyler, past tense hylede, perfect tense har hylet)

  1. yell
  2. howl
  3. wail
  4. yowl
  5. whine
  6. hoot

Related terms[edit]



Transliteration of Aristotle’s concept of matter, in Ancient Greek ὕλη (húlē, wood(s), material(s), matter, subject) or πρώτη ὕλη (“fundamental, undifferentiated matter”).



hȳlē f (genitive hȳlēs); first declension

  1. matter, the fundamental matter of all things, as opposing the form of all things (Aristotle’s doctrine of matter and form or hylomorphism); in Mediaeval Latin respectively materia prima and forma substantialis
  2. the matter of the body, as opposing the soul or mind (Aristotle’s doctrine of the soul)
  3. the first matter of the cosmos, an inaccurate interpretation of Aristotle's ἡ πρώτη ὕλη or materia prima


First-declension noun (Greek-type).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative hȳlē hȳlae
Genitive hȳlēs hȳlārum
Dative hȳlae hȳlīs
Accusative hȳlēn hȳlās
Ablative hȳlē hȳlīs
Vocative hȳlē hȳlae


  • hyle in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • hyle in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • hyle in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • hyle in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • hyle in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • hyle in William Smith, editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly
  • L&S: Lewis & Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1969
  • See further references under ὕλη (húlē).