sub·​stan·​ti·​ate səb-ˈstan(t)-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce substantiate (audio)
substantiated; substantiating

transitive verb

: to give substance or form to : embody
: to establish by proof or competent evidence : verify
substantiate a charge
substantiation noun
substantiative adjective
Choose the Right Synonym for substantiate

confirm, corroborate, substantiate, verify, authenticate, validate mean to attest to the truth or validity of something.

confirm implies the removing of doubts by an authoritative statement or indisputable fact.

confirmed the reports

corroborate suggests the strengthening of what is already partly established.

witnesses corroborated his story

substantiate implies the offering of evidence that sustains the contention.

the claims have yet to be substantiated

verify implies the establishing of correspondence of actual facts or details with those proposed or guessed at.

all statements of fact in the article have been verified

authenticate implies establishing genuineness by adducing legal or official documents or expert opinion.

handwriting experts authenticated the diaries

validate implies establishing validity by authoritative affirmation or by factual proof.

validated the hypothesis by experiments

Examples of substantiate in a Sentence

substantiated his claim to local mountaineering fame with a photo of himself on the summit of Mount McKinley Mr. MacGregor couldn't substantiate that it was Peter, and not some other rabbit, in the cabbage patch.
Recent Examples on the Web Eight allegations against Eisenberg were substantiated as racist, sexist, ageist, abusive conduct and improper direction to staff. Nollyanne Delacruz, The Mercury News, 25 Mar. 2024 Almeida’s apparent possession of a firearm was enough to substantiate initial federal criminal charges against him, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms took him into custody following a November 2021 raid on the Queens apartment. Ali Winston, WIRED, 13 Mar. 2024 Though claims of such voter fraud have seldom been substantiated, they are accepted as a matter of faith, and are therefore highly motivating, to many in the GOP. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2024 The specter of surveillance and hate looms large for people like Abu-Rayyan, who was ultimately sentenced to five years in prison — including many months in solitary confinement — even though the terrorism charges were never substantiated. Eli Cahan, Rolling Stone, 7 Mar. 2024 No other evidence was provided by The Times to substantiate the claim. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 1 Mar. 2024 This skepticism is substantiated by the ZipRecruiter survey, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. employers between July and August, and pegged employee monitoring as the primary concern in remote work scenarios. Gleb Tsipursky, Fortune, 8 Nov. 2023 According to the complaint, Musk’s termination letters to some of the executives explained that the source of their misconduct was a failure to cooperate with a government or internal investigation of Twitter, but the letters did not substantiate those allegations. Brian Fung, CNN, 4 Mar. 2024 Prosecutors did not say whether Smirnov's claims about the apparent ties to Russian intelligence have ever been substantiated. Robert Legare, CBS News, 20 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'substantiate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of substantiate was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near substantiate

Cite this Entry

“Substantiate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


sub·​stan·​ti·​ate səb-ˈstan-chē-ˌāt How to pronounce substantiate (audio)
substantiated; substantiating
: to give substance or form to : embody
: to establish by proof or evidence
substantiate a claim
substantiation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on substantiate

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