sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan(t)-shəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Definition of substantial

1a : consisting of or relating to substance
b : not imaginary or illusory : real, true
2 : ample to satisfy and nourish : full a substantial meal
3a : possessed of means : well-to-do
b : considerable in quantity : significantly great earned a substantial wage
4 : firmly constructed : sturdy a substantial house
5 : being largely but not wholly that which is specified a substantial lie

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Other Words from substantial

substantial noun
substantiality \ səb-​ˌstan(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun
substantially \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ adverb
substantialness \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun

Examples of substantial in a Sentence

A substantial number of people commute to work each day. Activities like that pose a substantial risk of injury. She purchased her tickets at a substantial discount. Only the buildings that were constructed of more substantial materials survived the earthquake. I was hoping that they would serve us something more substantial than wine and cheese.
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Recent Examples on the Web Eric Heisig reports that property transfer records provide evidence for what all the buzz has been about in the past year – that the coronavirus pandemic led to a substantial increase in demand for houses. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 11 June 2021 That's a substantial increase from the $25,000 the company donated in 2020. Arielle Tschinkel, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 Rhode Island will now measure COVID-19 transmission by four levels: low, moderate, substantial, and high., 3 June 2021 Up to 20 percent of cancers and a substantial portion of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, are thought to have viral triggers, but a vast majority of those have yet to be identified. New York Times, 3 June 2021 Linvill tells me, pointing out that retweets of Shapiro’s tweet on Kemper constituted a substantial portion of the activity surrounding the story on social media. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2021 If the Sanders tax proposal is enacted before Tina dies, that could reduce the exemption to $3.5 million Then a substantial portion of the life insurance Tina hopes will protect her children will be consumed by federal estate taxes. Martin Shenkman, Forbes, 27 May 2021 The football regular season, which generates a substantial portion of Pac-12 revenue, was cut in half. oregonlive, 20 May 2021 Putting points three and four together, a substantial portion of those who don't wish to be vaccinated may also not wish to wear masks. David Holtgrave And Eli Rosenberg, CNN, 14 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substantial.' 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 substantial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for substantial

Time Traveler

The first known use of substantial was in the 14th century

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Statistics for substantial

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Substantial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for substantial



English Language Learners Definition of substantial

: large in amount, size, or number
: strongly made
of food : enough to satisfy hunger


sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan-shəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Kids Definition of substantial

1 : large in amount a substantial improvement
2 : important sense 1 a substantial difference
3 : firmly constructed Substantial walls surround the castle.
4 : abundant a substantial meal
5 : prosperous sense 1 a substantial farmer
6 : made up of or relating to substance : material


sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan-chəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Legal Definition of substantial

1a : of or relating to substance
b : not illusory : having merit failed to raise a substantial constitutional claim
c : having importance or significance : material a substantial step had not been taken toward commission of the crime— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
2 : considerable in quantity : significantly great identification of serious and substantial failure to performU.S. Code — compare de minimis

Other Words from substantial

substantiality \ -​ˌstan-​chē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun
substantially adverb


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