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From Old French substantiel.





substantial (comparative more substantial, superlative most substantial)

  1. Having a substance; actually existing.
    substantial life
  2. Not imaginary; real; actual; true; veritable.
    • 1850s, Cardinal John Henry Newman, The Rise and Progress of Universities
      to do some substantial good, is the compensation for much incidental imperfection
  3. Corporeal; material; firm.
  4. Having good substance; strong; stout; solid; firm.
    substantial cloth
    a substantial fence or wall
  5. Possessed of goods or an estate; moderately wealthy.
    a substantial freeholder
  6. Large in size, quantity, or value; ample; significant.
    He inherited a substantial amount of money from his uncle.
    A substantial number of people went to the event.
  7. Most important; essential.
  8. Satisfying; having sufficient substance to be nourishing or filling.
    I don't just want a snack; I need something substantial.
    Teddy had a few crackers in his backpack, but he needed something more substantial if he was to survive a three-day trek.

Derived terms



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substantial (plural substantials)

  1. Anything having substance; an essential part.