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EnglishEdit

 
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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old French substance, from Latin substantia (substance, essence), from substāns, present active participle of substō (exist; literally, stand under), from sub + stō (stand).

PronunciationEdit

  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsʌbstəns/, [ˈsʌbstənts]
  • (file)

NounEdit

substance (countable and uncountable, plural substances)

  1. Physical matter; material.
    • 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
      Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  2. The essential part of anything; the most vital part.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      Heroic virtue did his actions guide, / And he the substance, not the appearance, chose.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bishop Burnet
      This edition is the same in substance with the Latin.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Burke
      It is insolent in words, in manner; but in substance it is not only insulting, but alarming.
  3. Substantiality; solidity; firmness.
    Some textile fabrics have little substance.
  4. Material possessions; estate; property; resources.
    a man of substance
    • Bible, Luke xv. 13
      And there wasted his substance with riotous living.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, / Cannot amount unto a hundred marks.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest.
  5. A form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties.
  6. Drugs (illegal narcotics)
    substance abuse
  7. (theology) Hypostasis.

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin substantia (substance, essence), from substāns, present active participle of substō (exist; literally, stand under), from sub + stō (stand).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

substance f (plural substances)

  1. substance

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


Old FrenchEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin substantia.

NounEdit

substance f (oblique plural substances, nominative singular substance, nominative plural substances)

  1. most essential; substantial part
  2. existence

Related termsEdit

DescendantsEdit