sub·​sti·​tu·​tive ˈsəb-stə-ˌtü-tiv How to pronounce substitutive (audio)
: serving or suitable as a substitute
substitutively adverb

Example Sentences

his recent religious fanaticism is only the latest substitutive addiction of a person with an addictive personality
Recent Examples on the Web This kind of substitutive logic appears in early case histories of anorexia. Anna Shechtman, The New Yorker, 20 Dec. 2021 This simple, substitutive kind of automation, Mr. Acemoglu and Mr. Restrepo wrote, threatens not just individual workers, but the economy as a whole. New York Times, 6 Mar. 2021 Somewhere along the line, a foundational philosophy emerged: Identity is additive, not substitutive. Monte Reel,, 20 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'substitutive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of substitutive was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near substitutive

Cite this Entry

“Substitutive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


sub·​sti·​tu·​tive ˈsəb-stə-ˌt(y)üt-iv How to pronounce substitutive (audio)
: serving or suitable as a substitute
substitutive behavior
substitutively adverb
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?