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

The ballooning gluten-free market means finding substitutes for wheat foods (pretzels, crackers, bread and more) is not hard these days. Becky Krystal, Houston Chronicle, "When it comes to food allergies, how to help your kids snack smarter," 10 Sep. 2019 While his classmates froze in fear, a Central Florida kindergartner ran to get help after their 67-year-old substitute teacher fell and hit her head. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Central Florida kindergartner hailed as hero for helping save substitute teacher’s life," 5 Sep. 2019 Farmers who refuse to see this handwriting on the wall, especially after Newsom’s move, could be left struggling to find a substitute when the actual ban arrives in 2021. Thomas D. Elias, The Mercury News, "Opinion: The end in sight for a perilous pesticide in California," 3 Sep. 2019 The ballooning gluten-free market means finding substitutes for wheat foods (pretzels, crackers, bread, and more) is not hard these days. Becky Krystal, BostonGlobe.com, "Tips for packing school lunches and snacks in the era of food allergies," 2 Sep. 2019 David Flood, 63, was working as a substitute teacher and finishing a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Southern Oregon University. Wendy Grossman Kantor, PEOPLE.com, "Oregon Woman Turns School Buses Into Tiny Homes for Working Homeless Families," 1 Sep. 2019 The ballooning gluten-free market means finding substitutes for wheat foods (pretzels, crackers, bread and more) is not hard these days. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "When it comes to food allergies, how to help your kids snack smarter," 30 Aug. 2019 There’s also rising pressure on manufacturers to find substitutes for thin plastic and other difficult-to-recycle materials. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "How a decision by the Chinese government reverberates into your Anchorage recycling bin," 6 June 2019 There would simply be no reason to find any substitute for Parmesan cheese, the undisputed heavyweight champion of hard, salty, tangy dairy products. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "3 (Cheaper!) Substitutes for Parmesan Cheese," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sponsor reserves the right to substitute for any reason whatsoever a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, at its sole discretion. CNN, "TUMS Ultimate Tailgate Sweepstakes Rules," 19 Aug. 2019 At issue, a quality control engineer with years of experience at Ford told the Free Press, was the high cost of substituting a different transmission in low-cost vehicles with a thin profit margin. Freep.com, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 Elsewhere, the hand-wringing seems to substitute for action that is not, in fact, beyond reach. Hannah Rosefield, The New Republic, "The Voice of a Microgeneration," 30 July 2019 Try substituting coconut aminos and adding salt to the dip. Eric Velasco, al.com, "How to make two no-cook, Asian-inspired summer meals," 23 July 2019 No exaggeration to substitute for actual information. Hal Boedeker, orlandosentinel.com, "WFTV’s Todd Ulrich marks 35 years at station," 18 July 2019 What’s driving pitching (and strikeouts) these days is substituting more sliders and cutters for fastballs. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "10 Storylines Defining Baseball in 2019," 8 July 2019 The idea was to substitute poverty for race in desegregation attempts, in part because poverty rates closely tracked race. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "School busing and race tore L.A. apart in the 1970s. Now, Kamala Harris is reviving debate," 28 June 2019 OneDay was meant to substitute for a semester-long capstone course for undergraduate students in ASU’s management program, Beck said. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Lawsuit: ASU owes $1M for video game that would have replaced business course," 20 June 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.

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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

17 Sep 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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readily or continually undergoing change

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