[suhb-strey-tuh m, -strat-uh m, suhb-strey-tuh m, -strat-uh m]
- something that is spread or laid under something else; a stratum or layer lying under another.
- something that underlies or serves as a basis or foundation.
- Agriculture. the subsoil.
- Biology. the base or material on which a nonmotile organism lives or grows.
- Philosophy. substance, considered as that which supports accidents or attributes.
- Photography. a layer of material placed directly on a film or plate as a foundation for the sensitive emulsion.
- Historical Linguistics. a set of features of a language traceable to the influence of an earlier language that it has replaced, especially among a subjugated population: The French word for 80, quatre-vingts (“four twenties”), may reflect a Celtic substratum.
Origin of substratum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for substratum
The bottom was quite even and flat, resting upon a substratum of coral.Adrift on the Pacific
Edward S. Ellis
Beneath Verinder's bland manner there lurked a substratum of triumph.The Highgrader
William MacLeod Raine
"There may always be a substratum of friendship," she argued.Tristram of Blent
The substratum was showing itself for a moment in the character of the Countess.Earl Hubert's Daughter
Emily Sarah Holt
For only that which has matter as its substratum can be quantitatively differentiated.A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy
- any layer or stratum lying underneath another
- a basis or foundation; groundwork
- the nonliving material on which an animal or plant grows or lives
- the solid rock underlying soils, gravels, etc; bedrock
- the surface to which a fixed organism is attached
- sociol any of several subdivisions or grades within a stratum
- photog a binding layer by which an emulsion is made to adhere to a glass or film baseSometimes shortened to: sub
- philosophy substance considered as that in which attributes and accidents inhere
- linguistics the language of an indigenous population when replaced by the language of a conquering or colonizing population, esp as it influences the form of the dominant language or of any mixed languages arising from their contactCompare superstratum (def. 2)
C17: from New Latin, from Latin substrātus strewn beneath, from substernere to spread under, from sub- + sternere to spread
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 substratum
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An underlying layer or stratum.
- A surface on which an organism grows or is attached; a substrate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.