matter (n.) 5
reason, cause, ground
2H4 I.ii.134 [Lord Chief Justice to Falstaff] I sent for you, when there were matters against you for your life
2H4 I.Induction.15 [Rumour alone] the big year ... / Is thought with child by the stern tyrant War, / And no such matter
AC II.ii.57 [Antony to Caesar] If you'll patch a quarrel, / As matter whole you have to make it with, / It must not be with this [i.e. for such inadequate reasons]
Cor I.i.54 [Menenius to Citizens] Where go you / With bats and clubs? The matter?
Cor III.ii.54 [Volumnia to Coriolanus] speak / To th'people, not ... by th'matter which your heart prompts you
Ham II.ii.441 [Hamlet to First Player] no matter in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation
Ham II.ii.479 [First Player to all, of Pyrrhus] like a neutral to his will and matter [i.e. inactive despite having both will and reason to act]
KJ III.iv.170 [Cardinal Pandulph to Lewis the Dauphin] what better matter breeds for you / Than I have named!
KJ V.ii.85 [Lewis the Dauphin to Cardinal Pandulph, of the war] Your breath ... brought in matter that should feed this fire [also: sense 1]
MW I.i.116 [Falstaff to Slender] What matter have you against me? [i.e. ground of complaint]
WT I.i.33 [Archidamus to Camillo, of the friendship between Polixenes and Leontes] I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it