substantial

adjective
sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan(t)-shəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Essential Meaning of substantial

1 : large in amount, size, or number A substantial number of people commute to work each day. This will save us a substantial [=considerable] amount of money/time. See More ExamplesActivities like that pose a substantial risk of injury. She purchased her tickets at a substantial discount.Hide
2 : strongly made : sturdy a substantial house Only the buildings that were constructed of more substantial materials survived the earthquake.
3 of food : enough to satisfy hunger I was hoping that they would serve us something more substantial than wine and cheese. a substantial [=filling] meal

Full Definition of substantial

1a : consisting of or relating to substance
b : not imaginary or illusory : real, true
2 : ample to satisfy and nourish : full a substantial meal
3a : possessed of means : well-to-do
b : considerable in quantity : significantly great earned a substantial wage
4 : firmly constructed : sturdy a substantial house
5 : being largely but not wholly that which is specified a substantial lie

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Other Words from substantial

substantial noun
substantiality \ səb-​ˌstan(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun
substantially \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ adverb
substantialness \ səb-​ˈstan(t)-​shəl-​nəs How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun

Examples of substantial in a Sentence

A substantial number of people commute to work each day. Activities like that pose a substantial risk of injury. She purchased her tickets at a substantial discount. Only the buildings that were constructed of more substantial materials survived the earthquake. I was hoping that they would serve us something more substantial than wine and cheese.
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Recent Examples on the Web Under Kagame’s rule, Rwanda has made substantial progress on economic development and women’s rights. Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2021 To be sure, China has achieved substantial progress in growing its consumer power. Jane Li, Quartz, 15 Oct. 2021 The numbers represent substantial progress since late September, when about 1 in 5 district employees had not submitted documentation of vaccination. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 15 Oct. 2021 The numbers represent substantial progress since late September, when about 1 in 5 district employees had not submitted documentation of vaccination. Los Angeles Times, 15 Oct. 2021 Buy only pink products that contribute a substantial amount to research. Hil Moss Reprints, STAT, 6 Oct. 2021 Some cities have made substantial progress, researchers say. Dana Afana, Detroit Free Press, 2 Oct. 2021 Both were gathered from no-till farmland, had the same pH, and contained a substantial amount of organic matter. Jennifer Clare Ball, Wired, 30 Sep. 2021 The time window to make substantial progress is closing by the minute. Phil Mattingly, CNN, 24 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'substantial.' 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 substantial

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for substantial

Time Traveler

The first known use of substantial was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near substantial

substantiable

substantial

substantial damages

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Substantial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/substantial. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for substantial

substantial

adjective
sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan-shəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Kids Definition of substantial

1 : large in amount a substantial improvement
2 : important sense 1 a substantial difference
3 : firmly constructed Substantial walls surround the castle.
4 : abundant a substantial meal
5 : prosperous sense 1 a substantial farmer
6 : made up of or relating to substance : material

substantial

adjective
sub·​stan·​tial | \ səb-ˈstan-chəl How to pronounce substantial (audio) \

Legal Definition of substantial

1a : of or relating to substance
b : not illusory : having merit failed to raise a substantial constitutional claim
c : having importance or significance : material a substantial step had not been taken toward commission of the crime— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
2 : considerable in quantity : significantly great identification of serious and substantial failure to performU.S. Code — compare de minimis

Other Words from substantial

substantiality \ -​ˌstan-​chē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce substantial (audio) \ noun
substantially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on substantial

Nglish: Translation of substantial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of substantial for Arabic Speakers

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