- a person or thing acting or serving in place of another.
- (formerly) a person who, for payment, served in an army or navy in the place of a conscript.
- Grammar. a word that functions as a replacement for any member of a class of words or constructions, as do in He doesn't know but I do.
- to put (a person or thing) in the place of another.
- to take the place of; replace.
- Chemistry. to replace (one or more elements or groups in a compound) by other elements or groups.
- to act as a substitute.
- of or relating to a substitute or substitutes.
- composed of substitutes.
Origin of substitute
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for substitute
The substitute nurse says to him in a stage whisper, “You know, the doctor says no vodka.”Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
But in the end there is no substitute for government when it comes to war fighting.Ukraine Militias Warn of Anti-Kiev Coup
November 28, 2014
This clean source of caffeine is the next noble, and healthy, substitute for your daily cup of coffee.Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa: Why The Amazon Holds the Secret to a Cleaner, Healthier Caffeine
August 29, 2014
Annunziato and Akerman are in agreement that CrowdMed is best deployed as a supplement, not a substitute.Strangers Diagnose Your Illness and Get Cash in Return
August 15, 2014
Tim Krul, the substitute goalie, seemed a good foot taller than Jasper Cillessen, the man he replaced, and much the more daunting.Costa Rica vs. the Netherlands: A Tale of Two Goalies
July 5, 2014
Think I would be any good as a substitute when it comes to field work?Her Father's Daughter
Disaffection's failure to substitute misrule for bad government.The Devil's Dictionary
Veal suet may be used as a substitute for that of beef; also veal-dripping.
You may substitute for the ham, cold smoked tongue, shred or grated.
If you do not like onions, substitute for them a larger quantity of spice.
- (often foll by for) to serve or cause to serve in place of another person or thing
- chem to replace (an atom or group in a molecule) with (another atom or group)
- logic maths to replace (one expression) by (another) in the context of a third, as replacing x + y for x in 3 x = k gives 3 x + 3 y = k
- 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
- (as modifier)a substitute goalkeeper Often shortened to: sub
- grammar another name for pro-form
- Canadian another name for supply teacher
- nautical another word for repeater (def. 5)
- (formerly) a person paid to replace another due for military service
Word Origin and History for substitute
early 15c. in transitive sense, 1888 as intransitive, from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere (see substitution). Related: Substituted; substituting.
"one who acts in place of another," early 15c., from Old French substitute and directly from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere (see substitution). Team sports sense is from 1849.