substitute

noun
sub·​sti·​tute | \ ˈsəb-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce substitute (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Unfortunately, staring out a window is a poor substitute for walking out the door. CBS News, "On the Road: A year to remember with Steve Hartman," 26 Dec. 2019 The limited agreement is a substitute for a Pacific-wide trade pact that Mr Trump withdrew America from. The Economist, "Business this week," 7 Dec. 2019 Whitmer, whose 45-cent gas tax had been widely panned, said at the time of the veto that the use of general fund money for roads hurt other priorities and was no substitute for a comprehensive road funding plan. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "No talk or money for fixing roads, or Pure Michigan campaign in tentative budget deal," 6 Dec. 2019 Social media is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Adam Schubak, Redbook, "Things I Learned About Life Over the Past Decade," 27 Nov. 2019 But that equipment is no substitute for imparting that aged taste so prized in the region, Kaleak noted. Author: Rachel D'oro, Anchorage Daily News, "Failing permafrost cellars signal change in Alaska whaling towns," 26 Nov. 2019 That solution appears to be a substitute for Trump’s Sept. 11 proposal of a plan to remove from the market all youth-friendly flavored vaping products, including mint and menthol. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Trump Says White House Will Raise Minimum Tobacco-Buying Age During Heated Vaping Meeting," 22 Nov. 2019 Still, Anderson said, there's no substitute for shopping in person. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop Saying Millennials Killed Antiques," 6 Nov. 2019 But there are no substitutes for getting to where the air is clean. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Sonoma County under siege — ferocious winds spreading Kincade Fire amid mass evacuations," 27 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb So, the whole idea of regulation is to substitute for the competitive market. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Tiny Michigan nonprofit is taking on DTE — and it could have huge impact on the company," 16 Jan. 2020 Customers who visit those locations will also be able to substitute oat milk for milk in other beverages. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, "Starbucks is bringing oat milk lattes to the Midwest," 7 Jan. 2020 During the state title game against Canton McKinley, head coach Mark Ehlen opted not to substitute the team's starters for the entirety of the game, and the Lady Chargers did not lead until 1:59 left in the game. Luke Feliciano, Cincinnati.com, "LaRosa's announces 2019 High School Hall of Fame Class," 24 Dec. 2019 In the midst of confusion on whether to substitute, FIU defensive end Kevin Oliver, a Western High grad, inexplicably went to the ground. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Butch Davis denies FIU faked injuries in upset victory over Miami Hurricanes," 24 Nov. 2019 Efforts to substitute the amendment failed, and it was ultimately adopted 14-4. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Board adopts 2020 budget with focus on transit cuts, House of Correction," 12 Nov. 2019 Bureaucrats are not free to substitute their judgments for the president’s. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’," 12 Nov. 2019 In-cider trading: A state legislator wants to substitute Ohio’s official state beverage for something sweeter. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights changes government, and Lakewood picks a new mayor: The Wake Up for Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019," 6 Nov. 2019 After halftime, Johnson did not start, but he was substituted in quickly. Giana Han, al, "Auburn guard Jamal Johnson has career game against Lipscomb," 29 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about substitute

Time Traveler for substitute

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for substitute

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Substitute.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substitute. Accessed 26 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for substitute

substitute

noun
How to pronounce substitute (audio)

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 How to pronounce substitute (audio) , -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 How to pronounce substitute (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on substitute

What made you want to look up substitute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!