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
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.
Their anti-Trump posturing is mostly for show, but these mayors are pushing substantive — and increasingly radical — agendas of social engineering.
To keep the American Dream a reality, Congress needs to expedite this substantive tax reform.
Local Democrats in Congress said the sweeping tax bill passed by the House Tuesday afternoon offers little in the way of substantive help for virtually all middle-class taxpayers.
One immediate step would be to start greenlighting movies about heroines that actresses such as Judd, Sorvino and others are now old enough to play: substantive women in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
Thursday's big MLS Board of Governors meeting in New York City came and went without any substantive revelations for the four expansion finalists.
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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