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

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

The resolution said countries should limit the misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes, as a mother’s breast milk has been shown to be the healthiest for children in decades of research. Renae Reints, Fortune, "U.S. Delegates Opposed an International Resolution That Supported Breastfeeding," 8 July 2018 Dier, a late second-half substitute, went low and to his left, and England will meet Sweden on Sunday for a surprising spot in the semis. Brian Straus, SI.com, "England's Belief Manifests Itself in Elusive Penalty Triumph, World Cup Progression," 3 July 2018 FOURTH SUBSTITUTE World Cup history was made with the first use of a fourth substitute, which FIFA now allows teams to have one more sub in extra time. Graham Dunbar, Houston Chronicle, "Russia defeats Spain in shootout at World Cup," 1 July 2018 Led by a team at Linköping University in Sweden, the researchers found that when given a choice between alcohol and a tastier, more biologically desirable sugar substitute, a subgroup of rats consistently preferred the alcohol. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Scientists Pinpoint Brain Region That May Be Center of Alcohol Addiction," 21 June 2018 To use leftover grains, substitute 2 1/2 cups in place of the 2/3 cup listed here. Emily Horton, charlotteobserver, "Four steps to making a great grain salad, every time," 19 June 2018 Here are our three favorite substitutes for Parmesan cheese: Piave Parmesan has a little brother, and his name is Piave. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "3 (Cheaper!) Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese," 11 June 2018 That means omitting goods for which there are few available substitutes, as well as parts and components. The Economist, "America’s allies should stand up to its reckless trade policy," 7 June 2018 Auston Trusty also got a few minutes on the field as a late substitute, making this the first game in which all five current Union homegrown players played. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "David Accam, Anthony Fontana lead Union's 5-0 rout of Richmond Kickers in U.S. Open Cup," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bill, sponsored by Councilman Ryan Dorsey, would substitute more flexible guidelines for the Appendix D of the International Fire Code, which requires 20- and 26-foot street clearances for fire access. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "City Council to pass fire code change unless agencies move on stalled developments, bike lanes," 21 June 2018 The 23-year-old Italy international joined Juve last July after spending 10 years at Fiorentina and was jeered by the home fans when he was substituted 12 minutes from time. USA TODAY, "Video controversy in Juve's 2-0 win at Fiorentina," 9 Feb. 2018 Marchaé Grair, a spokeswoman for UUA, told The Post that two-thirds of the denomination’s congregations participated in anti-white-supremacy training in 2017, and many substituted regular worship for the training. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "Prominent progressive D.C. church, accused of racism, tries to move on," 10 July 2018 South Korea, one of the few nations that conscripts all able-bodied men into military service, will now allow conscientious objectors to substitute the required two years with community service. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "South Korean Men Will Soon be Able to Choose an Alternative to Mandatory Military Service," 29 June 2018 Feel free to adjust the ratio of the flours, or substitute some rye or buckwheat flour for all or part of the whole-wheat. Melissa Clark, charlotteobserver, "Easy pancakes make any morning special," 26 June 2018 Beast + Bounty won't use white sugar to sweeten dishes advertised as vegan, since it's typically filtered and bleached with bone char, and will substitute leftover chickpea liquid called aquafaba instead of eggs at times. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Ice cream, doughnuts, sausages and vegan cheese? This new Sacramento project has it all," 19 June 2018 Recipe writers and small manufacturers experimented to recreate the complex flavors of the sauce, substituting nuts, mushrooms, or shallots for the fish. Amy Bentley, Smithsonian, "How Ketchup Revolutionized How Food Is Grown, Processed and Regulated," 4 June 2018 Simply register and choose places to visit from the list of Harford stream locations, with the option of substituting up to five county locations of your own. Aegis Staff, The Aegis, "Harford offers summer stream adventure, poker run," 29 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.

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

Share substitute

Phrases Related to substitute

substitute teacher

Statistics for substitute

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for substitute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!