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

Ever since, the US Department of Corrections has faced difficulties acquiring the proper cocktails, relying on cheap substitutes instead. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Tennessee death row inmates ask for electrocution over lethal injection. It’s a form of protest.," 3 Dec. 2018 Just last year, Pai sought to declare that the 10 Mbps speed on mobile devices was all the average consumer needed, and could be considered a substitute for in-home broadband services. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "FCC proposes doubling speed requirement for rural broadband," 20 Nov. 2018 Be original, be curious, be kind, be thankful, and there's no substitute for hard work. Kathleen Knowles, Town & Country, "Kit Keenan Talks Fast Fashion, Being an Influencer, and the Best Advice Her Mom Ever Gave Her," 17 July 2018 The politicization of the shareholder proposal process is an ineffectual substitute for policy making via the political institutions of democracy, and is counter to the broad interests of the vast majority of average shareholders. Joseph Kalt, Fortune, "Climate Proposals Have No Effect on Shareholder Returns. My Research Proves It," 5 June 2018 The standout is Pigtails (Missy Wise), the play's substitute for Piggy, a meek and humble boy in Golding's book. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "Flies! The Musical! turns Lord of the Flies into a giddy musical frolic," 17 May 2018 Theatricality: True to this world where sizzle substitutes for substance, video projections create architecture and gardens, dining rooms and libraries, killer bees (really) and pools of blood. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Monty Python fans may love'Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder'," 2 May 2018 The nut-milk butter, served with flaky sea salt and sourdough, was a profoundly convincing substitute for the real thing, as was the macadamia ricotta. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "Hyper-Local Greenery (and Beer) at Brooklyn’s Annicka," 27 Apr. 2018 There are no perfect substitutes for images from Landsat or the USDA programme. Gabriel Popkin, Scientific American, "U.S. Government Considers Charging for Popular Earth-Observation Data," 25 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2018, many schools are offering the option to substitute your SAT scores with supplemental essays. Fresh U, Teen Vogue, "9 Stages of Applying to College as a High School Senior," 11 Sep. 2018 Forbes perpetuates a commonsensical approach that the dispositions normally associated with education should be substituted with pro-business and pro-market ideologies. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Who wins the annual Forbes’ “30 Under 30” education awards? New study details telling links between judges and winners," 3 July 2018 Arsenal have been given a huge boost ahead of their game against Watford on Sunday following initial fears when Sead Kolašinac and Calum Chambers were substituted with suspected injuries in the club's recent Europa League clash. SI.com, "Arsenal Handed Major Injury Boost As 2 Defenders Return Ahead Of Must Win Watford Clash," 10 Mar. 2018 Although most of the household particulate pollution reduction seen in China was a result of a cookstove technology shift, the paper also studied the effects of substituting out coal and biomass in home heating. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In China, replacing coal and biomass stoves has saved lives," 21 Nov. 2018 My delivery arrived at 10:53 a.m. and was faultless—aside from a chocolate protein bar substituted for the out-of-stock peanut butter variety. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Checking Out New York’s Online Grocery Stores and All Their Trimmings," 20 Nov. 2018 The state asks the judge to substitute Rosenstein as the defendant in place of Sessions, a move that would effectively declare him the proper attorney general. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "Appointment of acting attorney general challenged in court," 13 Nov. 2018 After attempting to stop the bleeding, the German medical team made the decision to substitute Rudy, and he was subsequently replaced by Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan. SI.com, "Germany Reveal Sebastian Rudy Suffered a Broken Nose During World Cup Clash Against Sweden," 24 June 2018 With key players tiring in the second half, Mexico pulled back and substituted both Lozano and Carlos Vela. James Ellingsworth, star-telegram, "Did that just happen? Mexico stuns defending champion Germany in World Cup upset," 17 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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Statistics for substitute

Last Updated

10 Dec 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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