Nearby words

  1. substantive right,
  2. substantivize,
  3. substation,
  4. substernal goiter,
  5. substituent,
  6. substitution,
  7. substitution cipher,
  8. substitution product,
  9. substitution reaction,
  10. substitution therapy

Origin of substitute

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin substitūtus (past participle of substituere to put in place of), equivalent to sub- sub- + -stitū-, combining form of statū-, past participle stem of statuere (see substituent) + -tus past participle suffix

SYNONYMS FOR substitute
Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for substitutionary

  • Evidently here is the notion of a substitutionary offering, although the reason given is not the true reason.

    Bible Studies|Joseph M. Wheeler
  • I could not be disrated, as I was only a cabin-boy, but a substitutionary penalty was invoked against me.

  • It was substitutionary; the victim stood in place of the offerer.

    Two Old Faiths|J. Murray Mitchell and William Muir

British Dictionary definitions for substitutionary



(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


  1. 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
  2. (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
Derived Formssubstitutable, adjectivesubstitutability, noun

Word Origin for substitute

C16: from Latin substituere, from sub- in place of + statuere to set up


Substitute is sometimes wrongly used where replace is meant: he replaced (not substituted) the worn tyre with a new one

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for substitutionary
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper