Definition of "substitute" []

  • One that takes the place of another; a replacement: "Fantasies are more than substitutes for unpleasant reality” ( Barbara Grizzuti Harrison). (noun)
  • Grammar A word or construction used in place of another word, phrase, or clause. (noun)
  • To put or use (a person or thing) in place of another: "substituting moral power for physical force” ( Elizabeth Cady Stanton). (verb-transitive)
  • Chemistry To replace (one or more elements or radicals in a compound) by other elements or radicals. (verb-transitive)
  • To take the place of another: "Only art can substitute for nature” ( Leonard Bernstein). (verb-intransitive)
  • To serve or cause to serve in place of another person or thing (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To replace (an atom or group in a molecule) with (another atom or group) (verb)
  • To replace (one expression) by (another) in the context of a third, as replacing x + y for x in 3x = k gives 3x + 3y = k (verb)
  • A person or thing that serves in place of another, such as a player in a game who takes the place of an injured colleague (noun)
  • (as modifier) (noun)
  • (formerly) a person paid to replace another due for military service (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "substitute" in a sentence
  • "It may be admitted at once that when the term substitute is interpreted without reference to this basis of fact it lends itself very easily to misconstruction."
  • "He would feel the want of you without having the satisfaction of fancying himself ill-used, and ---- for your substitute is altogether as good a Nemesis as one would wish to hear of."
  • "On what we call substitute a reputation for decent treatment of minority shareholders so that firms can raise equity finance in the future."