Simple Definition of substance
: a material of a particular kind
: a drug that is considered harmful and whose use is controlled by law or made illegal
: the quality of being meaningful, useful, or important
Full Definition of substance
2a : ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestations and changeb : practical importance : meaning, usefulness <the…bill—which will be without substance in the sense that it will authorize nothing more than a set of ideas — Richard Reeves>
3a : physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existenceb : matter of particular or definite chemical constitutionc : something (as drugs or alcoholic beverages) deemed harmful and usually subject to legal restriction <possession of a controlled substance> <substance abuse>
4 : material possessions : property <a family of substance>
substancelessplay \-ləs\ adjective
: in respect to essentials : fundamentally
Examples of substance in a sentence
The pancreas secretes a substance called insulin.
The floor was covered with a white, powdery substance that turned out to be flour.
heroin and other illegal substances
He had a history of substance abuse.
When has he ever said anything of substance?
The results of the study give substance to their theory.
the substance of my argument
Origin and Etymology of substance
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin substantia, from substant-, substans, present participle of substare to stand under, from sub- + stare to stand — more at stand
First Known Use: 14th century
SUBSTANCE Defined for Kids
Medical Definition of substance
1: physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence <the substance of nerve tissue>
2: matter of particular or definite chemical constitution
3: something (as alcohol, methamphetamine, or marijuana) deemed harmful and usually subject to legal restriction <heroin is a controlled substance> <substance abuse>
Seen and Heard
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