substantive was our Word of the Day on 05/14/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Origin and Etymology of substantive
Definition of substantive
- the substantive verb is the verb to be
- a substantive dyeing process
- a substantive phrase
- made substantive progress
- substantive law
- substantive discussions among world leaders
Examples of substantive in a Sentence
- "This was not a drive-by P.R. stunt, and I actually thought it might be," said Representative Zach Wamp, Republican of Tennessee. "It was a substantive, in-depth discussion with our conference, and he's very effective." —Jackie Calmes & Carl Hulse, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2009
- The first substantive issue that the Supreme Court considered in its Brown opinion was whether, as originally understood, the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited racial segregation in public schooling. The justices concluded that the historical record was inconclusive. —Randall Kennedy, New Republic, 5 & 12 July 2004
- The common critique of art's pleasures and entertainments—that they are trivial, devoid of substantive value, and degrading of art's genuine worth—rests on ignoring this diversity by making two false assumptions: first, that there is basically one kind of aesthetic pleasure in art's entertainment and, secondly, that this pleasure is always a shallow and trivial one, which distracts us from interest in art's real meaning and truth. —Richard Shusterman, Let's Entertain: Life's Guilty Pleasures, 2000
These changes are more symbolic than substantive.
No substantive changes were made to the document.
There is no substantive reason to change the law.
Recent Examples of substantive from the Web
Their close relationship helped her turn the historically undemanding post of lieutenant governor into something more substantive when Dayton needed a replacement in his second term.
The latest news though, seems to have created a more substantive view of the team’s immediate future.
Others are more arcane but more substantive, like raising the felony larceny threshold from $200 to $500 and reducing driver’s-license suspensions.
Along with Ben George, Monagle sells this relationship as something more substantive than the airy dreams unfolding around it.
That date raises an important issue that could make the case moot or at the very least crowd out a substantive discussion on the legality of the travel ban.
Did the Senate procedural snafu change anything substantive in the bill?
There is a substantive benefit for the refugees, but also a symbolic benefit for the countries hosting the majority of refugees.
Killing net neutrality probably won’t make things better, but keeping it without any other substantive changes will ensure things get worse—instead of civics, only mania will remain.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substantive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Substantive was borrowed into Middle English from the Anglo-French adjective sustentif, meaning "having or expressing substance," and can be traced back to the Latin verb substare, which literally means "to stand under." Figuratively, the meaning of "substare" is best understood as "to stand firm" or "to hold out." Since the 14th century, we have used "substantive" to speak of that which is of enough "substance" to stand alone, or be independent. By the 19th century the word evolved related meanings, such as "enduring" and "essential." It also shares some senses with "substantial," such as "considerable in quantity."
astronomical (also astronomic), bumper, colossal, elephantine, enormous, gigantic, great, herculean, huge, immense, jumbo, king-size (or king-sized), mammoth, massive, monstrous, monumental, prodigious, titanic, tremendous, whopping;
SUBSTANTIVE Defined for English Language Learners
legal Definition of substantive
- a substantive issue
- the substantive instructions to the jury
- was dismissed on procedural and substantive grounds
- a substantive statutory change
- a substantive rule of law
- the object of a RICO conspiracy is to violate a substantive RICO provision
- —United States v. Elliot, 571 F.2d 880 (1978)
Seen and Heard
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