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
Judge Samantha Schosberg-Feuer ruled three of the witnesses cited by Raja’s defense team could potentially provide more substantive information.
The conflict between Flake and Trump is more rhetorical than substantive.
But substantive talks on how to raise the debt ceiling have not yet begun, and the breakdown at the Mnuchin meeting on Tuesday suggests a vote on the measure could come down to the wire late next month.
The first substantive round of divorce talks in Brussels last week failed to produce a breakthrough, as the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Britain must clarify its positions in key areas.
Even if the U.S. and Chinese governments fail to agree on more substantive trade terms, corporate chief executive officers from the two countries pledged to deepen their cooperation and joint investment efforts.
But the character’s most substantive stab at pop-culture rehab was a fan theory that first appeared on Reddit in October 2015, which quickly circulated around the web.
Yet another stirring, affirmative, substantive defense of what the bill will actually do.
Politics is not so innocent anymore: What was originally intended as a purely budgetary provision has evolved into a sneaky way of passing major pieces of substantive legislation.
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."
Synonymsbiggish, good, goodly, handsome, healthy, largish, major, respectable, significant, sizable (or sizeable), substantial, considerable, tidy
Antonymsinconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, insubstantial, negligible, nominal
Related Wordsbig, bulky, hefty, hulking, outsize (also outsized), oversize (or oversized), voluminous; 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
Near Antonymsmeasly, minute, paltry, petty, picayune, picayunish, piddling, puny, trifling, trivial, unimportant; marginal, meager (or meagre), slight; little, small, tiny, undersized (also undersize); bitty, diminutive, miniature, pint-size (or pint-sized), pocket, pocket-size (also pocket-sized), pygmy, smallish
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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