Definitions for substanceˈsʌb stəns

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word substance

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sub•stance*ˈsʌb stəns(n.)

  1. that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material:

    form and substance.

  2. a kind of matter of definite chemical composition:

    a metallic substance.

    Category: Chemistry

  3. the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.

  4. substantial or solid character or quality:

    claims lacking in substance.

  5. consistency; body.

  6. the meaning or gist, as of speech or writing.

  7. possessions, means, or wealth.

  8. Category: Common Vocabulary, Government, Law

    Ref: controlled substance.

  9. Philos. that which exists by itself and in which accidents or attributes inhere.

    Category: Philosphy

Idioms for substance:

  1. in substance, concerning the essentials; substantially. actually; really.

    Category: Idiom

* Syn: See matter.

Origin of substance:

1250–1300; ME < L substantia=sub-sub - +stant-, s. of stāns, prp. of stāre to stand+-ia -ia (see -ance ); calque of Gk hypóstasis

Princeton's WordNet

  1. substance(noun)

    the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists

    "DNA is the substance of our genes"

  2. kernel, substance, core, center, centre, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty(noun)

    the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

    "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"

  3. meaning, substance(noun)

    the idea that is intended

    "What is the meaning of this proverb?"

  4. substance(noun)

    material of a particular kind or constitution

    "the immune response recognizes invading substances"

  5. means, substance(noun)

    considerable capital (wealth or income)

    "he is a man of means"

  6. message, content, subject matter, substance(noun)

    what a communication that is about something is about

  7. substance(noun)

    a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties

    "shigella is one of the most toxic substances known to man"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. substance(noun)ˈsʌb stəns

    a type of physical material

    a chemical substance that is contaminating water supplies; explosive substances

  2. substanceˈsʌb stəns

    harmful drugs

    He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.; substance abuse

  3. substanceˈsʌb stəns

    meaning, value, or usefulness

    There was no real substance to the news reports


  1. substance(Noun)

    Physical matter; material.

  2. substance(Noun)

    The essential part of anything; the most vital part.

  3. substance(Noun)

    Considerable wealth or resources.

    A man of substance.

  4. substance(Noun)


    substance abuse

  5. Origin: From substance, from substantia, from substans, present active participle of substo, from sub + sto.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Substance(noun)

    that which underlies all outward manifestations; substratum; the permanent subject or cause of phenomena, whether material or spiritual; that in which properties inhere; that which is real, in distinction from that which is apparent; the abiding part of any existence, in distinction from any accident; that which constitutes anything what it is; real or existing essence

  2. Substance(noun)

    the most important element in any existence; the characteristic and essential components of anything; the main part; essential import; purport

  3. Substance(noun)

    body; matter; material of which a thing is made; hence, substantiality; solidity; firmness; as, the substance of which a garment is made; some textile fabrics have little substance

  4. Substance(noun)

    material possessions; estate; property; resources

  5. Substance(noun)

    same as Hypostasis, 2

  6. Substance(verb)

    to furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich


  1. Substance

    Substance is a 1987 compilation album by New Order, consisting of all of the band's singles at that point in their 12-inch versions, together with their respective B-side tracks. The then newly-released non-album single "True Faith" is also featured, along with its B-side "1963". The collection was released on vinyl, double CD, double cassette and Digital Audio Tape.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'substance' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4155

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'substance' in Nouns Frequency: #1238

Translations for substance

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a material

Rubber is a tough, stretchy substance obtained from the juice of certain plants.

Get even more translations for substance »


Find a translation for the substance definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these substance definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"substance." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for substance?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for substance: