substrate

noun

sub·​strate ˈsəb-ˌstrāt How to pronounce substrate (audio)
1
2
: the base on which an organism lives
the soil is the substrate of most seed plants
3
: a substance acted upon (as by an enzyme)

Did you know?

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.

Examples of substrate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Coated Fabric − this wallpaper has a fabric substrate coated with liquid vinyl or acrylic. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, 4 Apr. 2024 The process is the same as for making a microarray, but at the end all the strands are cleaved from the substrate, dried, and packaged together in a single tube for the customer. Phillip W. Barth, IEEE Spectrum, 25 Mar. 2024 Because leaves carry vibrations better than the other substrates, this behavior might suggest that the frogs are encouraging their prey to move around. Christian Thorsberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Mar. 2024 While plants and trees grow in soil, mycelium grows in what’s called substrate (soil can be a substrate, but fungi often grow in a combination of wood, dung, coir or grain). Robert Johnson, Rolling Stone, 26 Oct. 2023 In a vertical device, the current flows upward from the substrate directly to contacts on the top of the device—a configuration that allows maximum current flow. IEEE Spectrum, 30 Jan. 2024 Those bands, particularly Metheny’s Side-Eye, required him to lay down bass lines while also creating sumptuous harmonies and deeply textured sonic substrates while ensconced within a bank of keyboards resembling a 747 cockpit. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, 26 Jan. 2024 Stella Ramos and several colleagues at the Universite de Lyon in France were particularly interested in investigating the influence of two parameters on the paint drying process: the temperature of the substrate and concentration of the suspension. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 2 Oct. 2023 In the device, spin waves are generated by an antenna, constructed directly on the insulating substrate. IEEE Spectrum, 17 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

Etymology

Medieval Latin substratum

First Known Use

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of substrate was in 1730

Dictionary Entries Near substrate

Cite this Entry

“Substrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substrate. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

substrate

noun
sub·​strate ˈsəb-ˌstrāt How to pronounce substrate (audio)
1
: an underlying layer: as
b
: the base on which an organism lives or over which it moves
the soil is the substrate of most plants
2
: a substance acted upon (as by an enzyme)

Medical Definition

substrate

noun
sub·​strate ˈsəb-ˌstrāt How to pronounce substrate (audio)
1
2
: the base on which an organism lives
3
: a substance acted upon (as by an enzyme)

More from Merriam-Webster on substrate

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