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 substantiality (audio) \ noun
substantially \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce substantially (audio) \ adverb
substantialness \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce substantialness (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

The council decided in 2006 that anyone appealing a DRB decision would have to provide substantial evidence about the specific appeal. Daily Pilot, "With a set of substantial projects in the works, Laguna council will consider way to fully cover city costs," 3 Aug. 2019 Unfortunately, the staggering cost is proving to be too substantial for most people who have SMA. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Why This Life-Saving Drug Costs $2.1 Million, and Why Insurers Won't Cover It," 30 July 2019 But your investigation actually found substantial evidence that McGahn was ordered by the president to fire you. NBC News, "10 key sections of Mueller's report that came up during the hearings," 25 July 2019 The fire damage is mostly limited to the outside of the building, but water from the sprinklers in the attic caused substantial damage to part of the building, authorities said. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Cigarette causes hotel fire in Indianapolis that displaced 200 people," 17 July 2019 When downtown's Spaghetti Warehouse was flooded after Hurricane Harvey, the company vowed to return to the Houston food scene, although not at the 901 Commerce location which suffered substantial damage. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Warehouse 72, Spaghetti Warehouse’s upscale sibling, to open Aug. 1 in Houston," 9 July 2019 The same plane sustained substantial damage to its tail section in a 2016 accident while carrying skydivers over Northern California. David Harten, The Courier-Journal, "Feds probe 'quality' of repairs on plane in Hawaii crash," 23 June 2019 The same plane sustained substantial damage to its tail section in a 2016 accident while carrying skydivers over Northern California. Anchorage Daily News, "Feds probe ‘quality’ of repairs on plane in Hawaii crash that killed 11," 23 June 2019 Officers have probably obtained substantial physical and electronic evidence, as well as witness testimony, to support its conclusion about the target. Michael Mccann,, "David Ortiz Shooting Draws More Questions in Alleged Case Of Mistaken Identity," 19 June 2019

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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Statistics for substantial

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for substantial

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

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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 substantiality (audio) \ noun
substantially adverb

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Comments on substantial

What made you want to look up substantial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

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