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

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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

Switching to natural gas and electricity heating didn't contribute as much to pollution control as applying the same substitutes to cooking did, because heating is only used during parts of the year and not in all of China's provinces. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In China, replacing coal and biomass stoves has saved lives," 21 Nov. 2018 Photo: Mars Wrigley Confectionery The most promising substitute, purple carrots, left Skittles spotted. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Anyone for Diglycerides? Anyone? Food Scientists Are Getting Fed Up With Picky Eaters," 12 Oct. 2018 In any case, Torres is on the disabled list and might not be ready to participate, in which case Lowrie seems like the logical substitute. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "MLB All-Star Game: Eight biggest roster snubs," 8 July 2018 The fourth substitute who came closest to scoring before a shootout was Spain forward Rodrigo. James Ellingworth, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup's fourth substitutes in extra time are more than just penalty takers," 5 July 2018 First, Vertonghen atoned for his error with a strange looping header that floated just over Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, and then the substitutes began to make their presence felt. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "World Cup 2018: Belgium Shocks Japan With Stunning Rally," 4 July 2018 Neymar's dispute with Layun unfolded as the Mexico substitute tried to recover the ball. Rob Harris, Houston Chronicle, "Neymar leads Brazil past Mexico, into World Cup quarterfinals," 2 July 2018 Vegetarians have choices, too: veggie balls, black bean and quinoa balls or the meat substitute Wonderball that looks and tastes like meat. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "18 new restaurants in Carmel, Noblesville, Westfield and Indianapolis' north side," 27 June 2018 Denis Cheryshev took his place and with two goals became the first substitute to score in a World Cup opener. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "A look at Tuesday's World Cup schedule," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ward recommends using a made-for-cane-syrup recipe like that one instead of trying to substitute it directly for corn syrup in your family pie recipe. Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times, "Cane syrup, a Southern staple, makes its way to Seattle just in time for prime pecan-pie season," 20 Nov. 2018 The 20-year-old Englishman showed neat touches and took up good positions, but was substituted for the more physical and less technical Andreas Cornelius at halftime. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Mbappe scores 20th league goal as PSG routs Montpellier 5-1," 20 Feb. 2019 In other words, the actual Navier-Stokes equations are solved for motion on the medium and large scales, but, below some cutoff, a statistical or other model is substituted. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 Romelu Lukaku couldn't add to his four goals for Belgium and was substituted shortly after misjudging a through ball by De Bruyne. James Ellingworth, chicagotribune.com, "Belgium win 3rd place with victory over England," 14 July 2018 In a recent study in China, one doctor decided to test his theory that tai chi could be substituted for traditional Western pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 July 2018 During Cincinnati’s visit to Lamport Stadium, there was an audible section cheering for the Guyana national team forward, who was substituted for Konig in the second half. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati blows two-goal lead, draws last-place Toronto FC II 3-3 on Wednesday night," 27 June 2018 Without waiting to be substituted, Kompany walked off shortly after the break after appearing to overstretch while making a defensive challenge. BostonGlobe.com, "Ireland tops United States men’s soccer on late goal," 2 June 2018 Green and red bell peppers, carrots and kale leaves add color and fiber to the mix, although other vegetables can easily be substituted. Linda Giuca And Christopher Prosperi, courant.com, "Slow-Cooker Pork Recipe Lets You Enjoy Outdoors Then Enjoy Dinner," 7 May 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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Statistics for substitute

Last Updated

14 May 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 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

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Comments on substitute

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