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

Women who are targeted with aggressive advertising from formula companies need better nutrition and breastfeeding support—not increased access to an expensive breast-milk substitute. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Donald Trump Tweets About Breastfeeding—But Misses the Whole Point," 10 July 2018 Those interested in serving as a substitute teacher, secretary, custodian, food service worker, bus driver, bus attendant, school nurse or health assistant should submit an online application by July 27. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 13 July 2018 Bedoya was a substitute teacher at Golfview Elementary School in Carpentersville for an undisclosed amount of time. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "5th round of child abuse/assault charges filed against former Carpentersville substitute teacher," 2 July 2018 In the third district her lead was far ahead of the second candidate, Paul Konka, a retired Medicaid and Medicare accountant who has seen the inside of schools as a substitute teacher. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County voters cast ballots in first school board election," 27 June 2018 Teddy Gordon, who is representing the Halls, is a Louisville attorney who's previously brought cases against JCPS, including a federal lawsuit alleging relentless bullying and a claim that a substitute teacher was demoted because of her race. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Parents allege abuse at JCPS preschool drastically changed daughter," 19 June 2018 Her mother worked occasionally as a substitute teacher. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Mimi O’Hagan Devoted Her Retirement to Building Schools in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region," 8 June 2018 Midway through the second half, Lloris was there again, springing off his line to punch away a dangerous right-wing cross from Belgium substitute Dries Mertens. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Superb defense takes France close to another World Cup title," 10 July 2018 The trade conflict may benefit some Asian companies and industries, especially if duties on U.S. products lift demands for local substitutes. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Trade Conflict Ripples Through Emerging Markets," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Luckey’s company, Anduril Industries, is pitching its technology to the Department of Homeland Security as a complement to—or substitute for—much of President Trump’s promised physical wall along the border with Mexico. Steven Levy, WIRED, "Inside Palmer Luckey’s Bid to Build A Border Wall," 11 June 2018 His idea was to tone down the look of men’s tennis style, substituting the outward-facing labels and loud colors of ubiquitous branded merchandise for something softer. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This New Line of Logo-less Tennis Gear is For Guys Who Want to Look Good on and Off the Court," 12 July 2018 Normally, closed caption subtitling bleeps words in a variety of different ways: phrases, such as (bleep), [expletive], or [censored] may be used, though sometimes hyphens or asterisks are substituted instead (f–k, f---, or f*** are all examples. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "I Rely On Closed Captions to Enjoy a Show And I Don't Appreciate Netflix's Way of Censoring Them," 10 July 2018 Now the council is considering a bill sponsored by Councilman Ryan Dorsey that would substitute more flexible guidelines for the International Fire Code, which requires 20- and 26-foot street clearances for fire access. Luke Broadwater, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore City Council examines allegations of bullying, intimidation of bicyclists by fire officials," 3 July 2018 Look to see if your company has a policy stating that employees are required to find someone to substitute for them on sick days or when taking a holiday. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Ask HR: Can my boss require me to find a substitute for days I'm sick or taking a holiday?," 1 May 2018 The title, which substitutes a famous Wooster Group prop for the kitchen chair of one Kantor's famous essays, exemplifies the artistic fusion. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "With 'A Pink Chair,' Wooster Group conjures from spirits from theater's past," 7 Apr. 2018 Brady will be eager to test a Jaguars defense that substitutes a little less than others and is unaccustomed to playing this late into a season. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "The Jaguars’ Recipe for an AFC Title Game Upset," 15 Jan. 2018 These short-term rules were meant to fill temporary breaks in coverage, not to substitute for comprehensive insurance. WSJ, "Should States Allow Insurers to Offer Bare-Bones Health Plans With Fewer Mandated Benefits?," 24 June 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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Phrases Related to substitute

substitute teacher

Statistics for substitute

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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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Comments on substitute

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