substance

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

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?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 136: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. John Dryden
      Heroic virtue did his actions guide, / And he the substance, not the appearance, chose.
    • (Can we date this quote?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 136: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. Bishop Burnet
      This edition is the same in substance with the Latin.
    • (Can we date this quote?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 136: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. 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?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 136: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. William Shakespeare
      Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, / Cannot amount unto a hundred marks.
    • (Can we date this quote?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 136: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. 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.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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 also[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

substance f (plural substances)

  1. substance

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin substantia.

Noun[edit]

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

  1. most essential; substantial part
  2. existence

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]