Definitions for substituteˈsʌb stɪˌtut, -ˌtyut

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sub•sti•tuteˈsʌb stɪˌtut, -ˌtyut(n.; v.; adj.)-tut•ed, -tut•ing

  1. (n.)a person or thing acting or serving in place of another.

  2. (formerly) a person who, for payment, served in an army or navy in the place of a conscript.

    Category: American History, Military

  3. a word that functions as a replacement for any member of a class of words or constructions, as do in

    He doesn't know but I do.

    Category: Grammar

  4. (v.t.)to put (a person or thing) in the place of another.

  5. to take the place of; replace.

  6. to replace (one or more elements or groups in a chemical compound) by other elements or groups.

    Category: Chemistry

  7. (v.i.)to act as a substitute.

  8. (adj.)of or pertaining to a substitute or substitutes.

  9. composed of substitutes.

Origin of substitute:

1350–1400; ME < L substitūtus, ptp. of substituere to put in place of =sub-sub - +-stituere, comb. form of statuere to set up, erect (cf. statue )


Princeton's WordNet

  1. substitute, replacement(noun)

    a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another

  2. substitute, reserve, second-stringer(noun)

    an athlete who plays only when a starter on the team is replaced

  3. stand-in, substitute, relief, reliever, backup, backup man, fill-in(adj)

    someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult)

    "the star had a stand-in for dangerous scenes"; "we need extra employees for summer fill-ins"

  4. utility(a), substitute(a)(adj)

    capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team

    "a utility infielder"

  5. alternate, alternative, substitute(adj)

    serving or used in place of another

    "an alternative plan"

  6. ersatz, substitute(verb)

    artificial and inferior

    "ersatz coffee"; "substitute coffee"

  7. substitute, replace, interchange, exchange(verb)

    put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items

    "the con artist replaced the original with a fake Rembrandt"; "substitute regular milk with fat-free milk"; "synonyms can be interchanged without a changing the context's meaning"

  8. substitute, sub, stand in, fill in(verb)

    be a substitute

    "The young teacher had to substitute for the sick colleague"; "The skim milk substitutes for cream--we are on a strict diet"

  9. substitute, deputize, deputise, step in(verb)

    act as a substitute

    "She stood in for the soprano who suffered from a cold"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. substitute(verb)ˈsʌb stɪˌtut, -ˌtyut

    to use sth or be used instead of another

    I substituted maple syrup for honey in the recipe.; They substituted Jones for Gonzalez in the second half.; Gonzalez substituted for Jones.; the substitution of energy-saving light bulbs for regular ones; There were several substitutions during the game.

  2. substitute(noun)ˈsʌb stɪˌtut, -ˌtyut

    sb or sth that is used instead of another

    The teacher was sick, so we had a substitute.; The plastic was used as a substitute for wood or metal.


  1. substitute(Noun)

    A replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.

  2. substitute(Noun)

    A player who is available to replace another if the need arises, and who may or may not actually do so.

  3. substitute(Verb)

    To use in place of something else, with the same function.

    I had no shallots so I substituted onion.

  4. substitute(Verb)

    In the phrase "substitute X for Y", to use X in place of Y.

    I had to substitute new parts for the old ones.

  5. substitute(Verb)

    In the phrase "substitute X with/by Y", to use Y in place of X.

    I had to substitute old parts with the new ones.

  6. substitute(Verb)

    To remove (a player) from the field of play and bring on another in his place.

    He was playing poorly and was substituted after twenty minutes

  7. substitute(Verb)

    To serve as a replacement (for someone or something)

  8. Origin: From substitutum, past participle of substituo.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Substitute(noun)

    one who, or that which, is substituted or put in the place of another; one who acts for another; that which stands in lieu of something else

  2. Substitute(noun)

    a person who enlists for military service in the place of a conscript or drafted man

  3. Substitute(noun)

    to put in the place of another person or thing; to exchange


  1. Substitute

    In association football, a substitute is a player who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired or injured, or who is not performing well; there may also be tactical reasons such as bringing a striker on in place of a defender when goals are needed. Players who are noted for scoring important goals when coming off the bench or frequently making appearances as a substitute are often known as "super subs". Most competitions only allow each team to make a maximum of three substitutions during a game, although more substitutions are often permitted in non-competitive fixtures such as friendlies.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'substitute' in Nouns Frequency: #2432

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'substitute' in Verbs Frequency: #941

Translations for substitute

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a person or thing used or acting instead of another

Guesswork is no substitute for investigation; She is not well enough to play in the tennis match, so we must find a substitute; (also adjective) I was substitute headmaster for a term.

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