sub·stan·dard | \ˌsəb-ˈstan-dərd \

Definition of substandard 

: deviating from or falling short of a standard or norm: such as

a : of a quality lower than that prescribed by law substandard housing

b : conforming to a pattern of linguistic usage existing within a speech community but not that of the prestige group in that community

c : constituting a greater than normal risk to an insurer

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Examples of substandard in a Sentence

a teacher who rejects substandard work without hesitation

Recent Examples on the Web

The Reds were believed to be favourites to sign Alisson, given the arguably substandard selection of stoppers at Anfield., "Italian Report Claims Chelsea Are Ready to Cash in on Courtois With Roma Stopper Eyed as Replacement," 31 May 2018 In recent months, gymnasts have come forward with complaints about the ranch and the Karolyis: the accommodations were substandard; the food was terrible; they were berated and body-shamed. NBC News, "Silent no more: Inside the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal," 22 Apr. 2018 The result is tens of thousands of Valley residents, many of them poor, with substandard water coming out of their taps. Dale Kasler, Phillip Reese And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water. Are you one of them?," 1 June 2018 However, they will be housed in substandard conditions with limited access to health care, education and other vital services. San Antonio Express-News, "Indefinite detention — as immoral as family separation," 2 July 2018 City Councilman Gary Kendrick said that more than a year ago, complaints started coming in from tenants of some of the buildings about substandard conditions. Karen Pearlman,, "El Cajon apartment inspection program keeping city safer," 14 June 2018 Messi, who contributed on two goals for Argentina earlier in the day but was generally substandard compared to his usual levels, came close in 2014, losing in the final. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Soccer's two biggest stars out of World Cup after Uruguay defeats Ronaldo, Portugal," 30 June 2018 Today, more than 80 percent of Nigerians live in substandard housing conditions, and many lack access to electricity. Justice Ilevbare, The Christian Science Monitor, "One company's plan to create affordable green housing in Nigeria," 14 June 2018 The agency is charged with providing health care to veterans and their dependants, but multiple investigations have uncovered long wait times and substandard care. Stephen Deere, ajc, "Air Force veteran sets self on fire to protest treatment under VA," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substandard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of substandard

1850, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for substandard

The first known use of substandard was in 1850

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More Definitions for substandard



English Language Learners Definition of substandard

: below what is considered standard, normal, or acceptable


sub·stan·dard | \ˌsəb-ˈstan-dərd \

Kids Definition of substandard

: lower in quality than expected



Legal Definition of substandard 

: deviating from or falling short of a standard or norm: as

a : of a quality lower than that prescribed by law

b : constituting a greater than normal risk to an insurer

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More from Merriam-Webster on substandard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for substandard

Spanish Central: Translation of substandard

Nglish: Translation of substandard for Spanish Speakers

Comments on substandard

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one that holds something together

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