substitute

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin substitutum, past participle of substituo.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈsʌbstɪtut/, ˈsʌbstɪtjut/
  • (file)

VerbEdit

substitute (third-person singular simple present substitutes, present participle substituting, simple past and past participle substituted)

  1. (transitive) To use in place of something else, with the same function.
    I had no shallots so I substituted onion.
  2. (transitive) In the phrase "substitute X for Y", to use X in place of Y.
    I had to substitute new parts for the old ones.
  3. (transitive) In the phrase "substitute X with/by Y", to use Y in place of X.
    I had to substitute old parts with the new ones.
  4. (transitive, sports) To remove (a player) from the field of play and bring on another in his place.
    He was playing poorly and was substituted after twenty minutes
    • 2011 April 11, Phil McNulty, “Liverpool 3 - 0 Man City”, BBC Sport:
      Mario Balotelli replaced Tevez but his contribution was so negligible that he suffered the indignity of being substituted himself as time ran out, a development that encapsulated a wretched 90 minutes for City and boss Roberto Mancini.
  5. (intransitive) To serve as a replacement (for someone or something)
    • 1987, James Tobin, Essays in Economics, Vol. 2, p. 75
      Accumulation of wealth by this route may substitute for personal saving.

Usage notesEdit

The verb "to substitute" can be used transitively in two opposite ways. "To substitute X" may mean either "use X in place of something else" (as in definitions 1 and 2), or "use something else in place of X" (as in definitions 3 and 4). The latter use is more recent, but it is widespread and now generally accepted (see the COED's note on the matter).

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

substitute (plural substitutes)

  1. A replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.
    • De Quincey
      Ladies [in Shakespeare's age] [] wore masks as the sole substitute known to our ancestors for the modern parasol.
  2. (sports) A player who is available to replace another if the need arises, and who may or may not actually do so.
    • 2011 November 3, David Ornstein, “Macc Tel-Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke”, BBC Sport:
      Dean Whitehead opened the scoring shortly after the break with a low finish and substitute Peter Crouch sealed the win with a tap-in.
  3. (historical) One who enlists for military service in the place of a conscript.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit


LatinEdit

ParticipleEdit

substitute

  1. vocative masculine singular of substitutus
Last modified on 30 March 2014, at 13:25