substrate

noun
sub·​strate | \ ˈsəb-ˌstrāt How to pronounce substrate (audio) \

Definition of substrate

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)

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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 Then it’s attached to the thinnest substrate ever, making for an overall design with a low enough mass to feasibly travel in space. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Light Sails Will Unlock Interstellar Travel. This One Is the Most Promising Yet.," 22 Oct. 2020 Offshore and separate from the rest of the reef system, this tower of limestone emerges from the deep seabed and acts as a substrate for coral and sea life to grow and flourish. Danielle Hall, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 Soil is a mix of organic material, minerals, gases, and other components that provide the substrate for plants to grow. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "There’s an ecosystem beneath your feet—and it needs protection, says new report," 4 Dec. 2020 To create a rock-solid substrate for the tile, cover the subfloor with cement backerboard. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Install Electric Radiant-Floor Heat," 25 Nov. 2020 These include the plastic container, the lid, the label, the fragrance, the five or so chemicals that are the disinfecting agents, and the substrate, or the clothlike fabric. Julie Creswell, Star Tribune, "Americans on hunt for 'trophy' Clorox wipes," 5 Oct. 2020 These include the plastic container, the lid, the label, the fragrance, the five or so chemicals that are the disinfecting agents, and the substrate, or the clothlike material. Julie Creswell, New York Times, "‘I Had Lost All Hope’: Clorox Wipes Are Still the Hard-to-Find Pandemic Item," 25 Sep. 2020 In an ordinary chip, this substrate just supports the GaN layer. Mariana Lenharo, Scientific American, "Blood and Silicon: New Electronics-Cooling System Mimics Human Capillaries," 9 Sep. 2020 The constant sinking and shifting of the soft, uneven substrate helps build strength in foot, ankle and leg muscles while the extra exertion required to slog through the pace-slowing mineral grains is a calorie-busting bonus. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, "This sandy Hassayampa River hike is a scenic workout. Here's how to do it," 29 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of substrate

1730, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for substrate

Medieval Latin substratum

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Time Traveler for substrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of substrate was in 1730

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Statistics for substrate

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Substrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substrate. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for substrate

substrate

noun
sub·​strate | \ ˈsəb-ˌstrāt How to pronounce substrate (audio) \

Medical Definition of substrate

2 : the base on which an organism lives
3 : a substance acted upon (as by an enzyme)

More from Merriam-Webster on substrate

Nglish: Translation of substrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of substrate for Arabic Speakers

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