substitution

noun

sub·​sti·​tu·​tion ˌsəb-stə-ˈtü-shən How to pronounce substitution (audio)
-ˈtyü-
1
a
: the act, process, or result of substituting one thing for another
b
: replacement of one mathematical entity by another of equal value
2
: one that is substituted for another
substitutional
ˌsəb-stə-ˈtü-shnəl How to pronounce substitution (audio)
-shə-nᵊl
-ˈtyü-
adjective
substitutionally adverb
substitutionary adjective

Example Sentences

The coach made three substitutions in the second half of the game. I'd prefer rice with my steak instead of potatoes, but the menu says “no substitutions.” Substitution of applesauce for oil is one way of reducing the fat in recipes. The cookbook has a long list of substitutions for ingredients that may be hard to find.
Recent Examples on the Web Bruce Pearl’s first substitution of the game is essentially a line change, with Wendell Green Jr. staying in at point. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 2 Nov. 2022 But critiques have also come from the left, including from social workers themselves, who suspect that any substitution of their colleagues for police would amount to dressing wolves in sheep’s clothing. Emily Cooke, The New Republic, 23 Sep. 2022 Together these results suggest the substitution for car usage is relatively small and concentrated among a narrow group. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2022 The substitution of a descriptive epithet for a proper name is Rivera Garza’s signature technique for creating character. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022 And particularly with his longtime former assistant coach Dwayne Stephens who previously handled substitution patterns now the head coach at Western Michigan. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 29 Oct. 2022 The Lions made a mass substitution but left a wide receiver near the sideline, hoping to catch the Hillbillies off guard. Harold Mcilvain, Arkansas Online, 29 Oct. 2022 Infielders can’t switch sides unless there’s a substitution. Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2022 Brionna Jones has come off the bench for most of the season, often as the first substitution for Jonquel Jones, who starts alongside Thomas. Lila Bromberg, Hartford Courant, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substitution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English substitucion, from Middle French, from Late Latin substitution-, substitutio, from substituere

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of substitution was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near substitution

Cite this Entry

“Substitution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substitution. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

substitution

noun

sub·​sti·​tu·​tion ˌsəb-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shən How to pronounce substitution (audio)
1
: a chemical reaction in which one or more atoms or groups in a molecule are replaced by equivalent atoms or groups to form at least two products
especially : the replacement of hydrogen in an organic compound by another element or group
2
a
: the turning from an obstructed desire to another desire whose gratification is socially acceptable
b
: the turning from an obstructed form of behavior to a different and often more primitive expression of the same tendency
a substitution neurosis
c
: the reacting to each of a set of stimuli by a response prescribed in a key
a substitution test for speed of learning new responses

Legal Definition

substitution

noun

sub·​sti·​tu·​tion ˌsəb-stə-ˈtü-shən, -ˈtyü- How to pronounce substitution (audio)
: the substituting of one person or thing for another: as
a
in the civil law of Louisiana : a disposition not in trust by which a donee, heir, or legatee is charged to hold property transferred and return it to a third person compare fidei commissum, vulgar substitution

Note: Substitutions are prohibited.

b
: replacement of a party to an action with a successor or representative upon motion to the court when the party is unable to continue litigating (as because of death, incompetency, transfer of interest, or loss of the office for which the party was suing or being sued in an official capacity)
c
: the replacement of a new agreement or obligation for an old one see also novation
substitutional adjective
substitutionary adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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