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


In philosophy, hyle (; from ) refers to matter or stuff. It can also be the material cause underlying a change in Aristotelian philosophy. The Greeks originally had no word for matter in general, as opposed to raw material suitable for some specific purpose or other, so Aristotle adapted the word for "wood" to this purpose. The idea that everything physical is made of the same basic substance holds up well under modern science, although it may be thought of more in terms of energy or matter/energy.

Usage examples of "hyle".

Oresbius cinched with shining belt who had lived in Hyle hoarding his great wealth, his estate aslope the shores of Lake Cephisus, and round him Boeotians held the fertile plain.

Ser Hyle on a chestnut courser and Brienne on her tall grey mare, Podrick Payne astride his swayback stot, and Septon Meribald walking beside them with his quarterstaff, leading a small donkey and a large dog.

With them, perhaps, I was calling Lorenza to me, or perhaps I was only repeating them to myself, in a propitiatory litany: White Copper, Immaculate Lamb, Aibathest, Alborach, Blessed Water, Purified Mercury, Orpiment, Azoch, Baurach, Cambar, Caspa, Cherry, Wax, Chaia, Comerisson, Electron, Euphrates, Eve, Fada, Fa-vonius, Foundation of the Art, Precious Stone of Givinis, Diamond, Zibach, Ziva, Veil, Narcissus, Lily, Hermaphrodite, Hae, Hypostasis, Hyle, Virgin’s Milk, Unique Stone, Full Moon, Mother, Living Oil, Legume, Egg, Phlegm, Point, Root, Salt of Nature, Leafy Earth, Tevos, Tincar, Steam, Evening Star, Wind, Virago, Pharaoh’s Glass, Baby’s Urine, Vulture, Placenta, Menstruum, Fugitive Slave, Left Hand, Sperm of Metals, Spirit, Tin, Juice, Oil of Sulfur.

Ajax came up bearing his shield in front of him like a wall a shield of bronze with seven folds of oxhide the work of Tychius, who lived in Hyle and was by far the best worker in leather.