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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web That amount is substantial, but still behind Biden’s target to reduce emissions by 50 percent this decade. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 28 July 2022 Some of the crypto fundraising rounds this year have been substantial in size. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, 27 July 2022 The recompense for those who can manage all this can be substantial. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 26 July 2022 Things are still in the early stages, but the renovation will be substantial. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 18 July 2022 Pushing the Lightning along at 75 mph requires 10 percent less power, a substantial decrease. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 1 July 2022 Historically, inflation has been a persistent phenomenon in Latin American countries and has contributed to a substantial decrease in people’s purchasing power and, therefore, to families’ quality of life. Gabriela Berrospi, Forbes, 4 May 2022 So, the opportunity to realize savings is substantial. Keith Ferrazzi, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Buick’s rise was substantial, moving up from 12th in 2021. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 7 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of substantial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Dictionary Entries Near substantial



substantial damages

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Substantial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for substantial


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

More from Merriam-Webster on substantial

Nglish: Translation of substantial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of substantial for Arabic Speakers


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