Definition of substrate
- the soil is the substrate of most seed plants
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
With its Latin prefix sub-, "below", substrate obviously refers to a layer under something else. Rock may serve as the substrate for the coral in a coral reef. Tiny wafers of silicon (or another semiconductor) serve as the substrate for computer chips. Substrate may also mean subsoil—that is, the layer under the topsoil, lacking in organic matter or humus. Substrate is part of the vocabulary of various other sciences, including chemistry and biology. But although it's mostly a scientific term, writers may also use it to mean simply "foundation"—for instance, when observing that reading is the substrate on which most other learning is based.
First Known Use: 1730See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up substrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).