substitute

noun
sub·​sti·​tute | \ ˈsəb-stə-ˌtüt , -ˌtyüt\

Definition of substitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or thing that takes the place or function of another

substitute

verb
substituted; substituting

Definition of substitute (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put or use in the place of another
b : to introduce (an atom or group) as a substituent also : to alter (something, such as a compound) by introduction of a substituent a substituted benzene ring
2 : to take the place of : replace

intransitive verb

: to serve as a substitute

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Other Words from substitute

Noun

substitute adjective

Examples of substitute in a Sentence

Noun

you'll be getting a substitute until your regular teacher is feeling better if you like, you can use nuts as a substitute for coconut in that recipe

Verb

One of our teachers is sick, so we need someone to substitute. They substituted real candles with electric ones.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All schools remained open and staffed by administrators, substitutes and teachers not participating in the strike. Colleen Slevin, The Seattle Times, "Denver teachers, officials negotiate to try to end strike," 12 Feb. 2019 Landon is apparently her favorite substitute for her regular style guru, who couldn't make the event. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Just Leaked the First Photos of Eddie's Wedding Dress," 25 Jan. 2019 During the strike, administrators and substitutes gathered students in auditoriums to watch movies or had students playing reading and writing games on iPads. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "Los Angeles Teachers, School District Announce Deal to End Weeklong Strike," 22 Jan. 2019 There weren’t many options as far as landings, but the ample levees in New Orleans proved a welcoming substitute for a tarmac. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "8 Emergency Landings That Rival the 'Miracle on the Hudson'," 15 Jan. 2019 Finally, a permanent end to factory farming is likely going to require superb meat substitute products. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "2018’s big wins — and big losses — for animals," 24 Dec. 2018 Another wall is a full pane of glass, which turns out to be a fine substitute for fresh air on rainy days. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "96-square-foot pavilion is the ultimate rustic studio," 6 Dec. 2018 James Rodriguez, the Bayern Munich star who was a substitute in the team’s opener because of a calf injury, set up two goals in that match. Anne M. Peterson, BostonGlobe.com, "Colombia advances while Senegal is eliminated by tiebreaker," 28 June 2018 But critics of Mnuchin’s approach say the new CFIUS legislation would be a weak substitute for the investment curbs the White House is considering in its trade dispute with China. Jenny Leonard, Bloomberg.com, "Mnuchin Favors Less Sweeping Investment Limits for China, Sources Say," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

House Cocktail Recipe: 1 tsp fresh lemon Juice 4 oz Kentucky Ale-8-One (if unavailable, substitute your favorite ginger ale) 8 dashes Angostura bitters Directions: Build all of the ingredients except for soda in a highball glass with ice. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Historic Maker’s Mark Distillery is (Finally) Allowed to Serve Cocktails," 26 Apr. 2017 Right now, thanks to outdated regulatory models, utilities are often hostile toward DERs, which are increasingly able to substitute for grid infrastructure. David Roberts, Vox, "Clean energy technologies threaten to overwhelm the grid. Here’s how it can adapt.," 30 Nov. 2018 The women of the 2018 Woman's Day Live Longer and Stronger Challenge are shedding pounds by substituting processed, starchy ingredients with nutrient-rich alternatives. Isabel Garcia, Woman's Day, "The Recipe That Helped Me Finally Lose Weight," 8 Nov. 2018 Data poisoning Abusers don’t just have to change their own behavior—by substituting different characters for letters or using words or symbols in coded ways. Daniel Lowd, Scientific American, "Can Facebook Use AI to Fight Online Abuse?," 13 June 2018 If that sounds like your taste buds, experiment by substituting other milder herbs in recipes that call for cilantro. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How to Grow Cilantro," 22 May 2018 There are many variations of perfluorooctanoic acid that can be made by substituting for various fluorines, and many of these variants have found uses in the production of everything from non-stick cooking to fire-fighting foams. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "EPA boots reporters from meeting on chemicals called a PR disaster," 22 May 2018 The black bean arepa can be made vegan by substituting avocado puree. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pop-up Arepera MKE to sell arepas for lunch at Amilinda," 7 May 2018 Brenda Shaffer, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said there are legitimate reasons to support the pipeline, including Europe’s need to reduce emissions by substituting gas for dirtier fuels such as coal. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "A giant gas pipeline raises the specter of Russian influence in Europe," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substitute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of substitute

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for substitute

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French substitut, from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere to put in place of, from sub- + statuere to set up, place — more at statute

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Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for substitute

The first known use of substitute was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for substitute

substitute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of substitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or thing that takes the place of someone or something else
sports : a player who takes the place of another player during a game

substitute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of substitute (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put or use (someone or something) in place of someone or something else
: to do the job of someone else or serve the function of something else
: to replace (one person or thing) with another

substitute

noun
sub·​sti·​tute | \ ˈsəb-stə-ˌtüt , -ˌtyüt\

Kids Definition of substitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or thing that takes the place of another

substitute

verb
substituted; substituting

Kids Definition of substitute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put in the place of another
2 : to take the place of another Honey can substitute for sugar in the recipe.

substitute

noun
sub·​sti·​tute | \ ˈsəb-stə-ˌt(y)üt \

Medical Definition of substitute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person or thing that takes the place or function of another father and mother substitutes

Other Words from substitute

substitute adjective

substitute

transitive verb
substituted; substituting

Medical Definition of substitute (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put or use in the place of another: as
a : to introduce (an atom or group) as a substituent
b : to alter (as a compound) by introduction of a substituent

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