"the totality of things used in the carrying out of any complex art or technique" (as distinguished from personnel), 1814, from French matériel "material," noun use of adj. matériel (see material (adj.)). A later borrowing of the same word that became material (n.). By 1819 in the specific sense of "articles, supplies, machinery, etc. used in the military."
1837, "body of persons engaged in any service," from French personnel (originally military, a contrastive term to matériel), noun use of personnel (adj.) "personal," from Old French personel (see personal).
mid-14c., "real, ordinary; earthly, drawn from the material world" (contrasted with spiritual, mental, supernatural), a term in scholastic philosophy and theology, from Old French material, materiel (14c.) and directly from Late Latin materialis (adj.) "of or belonging to matter," from Latin materia "matter, stuff, wood, timber" (see matter (n.)).
From late 14c. as "made of matter, having material existence; material, physical, substantial." From late 15c. as "important, relevant, necessary, pertaining to the matter or subject;" in the law of evidence, "of legal significance to the cause" (1580s).