Definition of substantive
- substantive discussions among world leaders
- made substantive progress
- the substantive verb is the verb to be
- a substantive phrase
- substantive law
- a substantive dyeing process
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These changes are more symbolic than substantive.
No substantive changes were made to the document.
There is no substantive reason to change the law.
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.
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 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."
: important, real, or meaningful
: supported by facts or logic
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