What does substitute mean?

Definitions for substitute
ˈsʌb stɪˌtut, -ˌtyutsub·sti·tute

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word substitute.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. substitute, replacementnoun

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

  2. substitute, reserve, second-stringernoun

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

  3. stand-in, substitute, relief, reliever, backup, backup man, fill-inadjective

    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)adjective

    capable of substituting in any of several positions on a team

    "a utility infielder"

  5. alternate, alternative, substituteadjective

    serving or used in place of another

    "an alternative plan"

  6. ersatz, substituteverb

    artificial and inferior

    "ersatz coffee"; "substitute coffee"

  7. substitute, replace, interchange, exchangeverb

    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 inverb

    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 inverb

    act as a substitute

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


  1. substitutenoun

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

  2. substitutenoun

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

  3. substituteverb

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

    I had no shallots so I substituted onion.

  4. substituteverb

    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. substituteverb

    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. substituteverb

    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. substituteverb

    To serve as a replacement (for someone or something)

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Substitutenoun

    One placed by another to act with delegated power.

    Etymology: substitut, Fr. from the verb.

    Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?
    ———— To him and his substitutes. William Shakespeare.

    You’ve taken up,
    Under the counterfeited zeal of God,
    The subjects of his substitute, my father,
    And here upswarm’d them. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
    And these inferior far beneath me set? John Milton.

    Providence delegates to the supreme magistrate the same power for the good of men, which that supreme magistrate transfers to those several substitutes who act under him. Addis.

  2. To Substituteverb

    To put in the place of another.

    Etymology: substituer, Fr. substitutus, from sub and statuo, Latin.

    In the original designs of speaking, a man can substitute none for them that can equally conduce to his honour. Gov. of Tongue.

    If a swarthy tongue
    Is underneath his humid palate hung,
    Reject him and substitute another. Dryden.

    Some few verses are inserted or substituted in the room of others. William Congreve.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Substitutenoun

    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. Substitutenoun

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

  3. Substitutenoun

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

  4. Etymology: [See Substitute, n.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Substitute

    sub′sti-tūt, v.t. to put in place of another.—n. one who, or that which, is put in place of another.—adj. put instead of another.—n. Substitū′tion, act of substituting or putting in place of another: (Shak.) the office of a substitute: the use of one word for another, syllepsis: (alg.) the replacing one quantity by another which is equal to it but differently expressed: (chem.) the replacement of one or more equivalents of a body by a like number of equivalents of another.—adjs. Substitū′tional, Substitū′tionary.—adv. Substitū′tionally.—adj. Sub′stitūtive. [L. substituĕre, -ūtumsub, under, statuĕre, to set.]

Matched Categories

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

How to pronounce substitute?

How to say substitute in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of substitute in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of substitute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of substitute in a Sentence

  1. Alexander Novak:

    This is the first Russian produced powerful machine with 100-percent domestic manufacture and it will, of course, help us to completely substitute purchases of foreign equipment of this capacity.

  2. T. S. Eliot:

    We know too much, and are convinced of too little. Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.

  3. Jack Tuter:

    In light of recent events, we have decided Judge Ehrlich will not return to the courthouse as her retirement is effective June 30. I will be working to find a substitute to cover Judge Ehrlich's division.

  4. Theodore Roosevelt:

    Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk we must act big.

  5. Jan Stone:

    Our children need consistency. And part of that consistency is coming to school and having the same schedule, although a substitute in the classroom may be a little inconsistent -- because you could have me, you could have Mrs. Smith tomorrow, you could have Mrs. Jones the next day -- they're still in their regular classroom.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for substitute

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • استبدلArabic
  • canviar, substitut, substituirCatalan, Valencian
  • náhradník, nahradit, náhradaCzech
  • amnewidWelsh
  • Ersatz, ersetzen, ErsatzspielerGerman
  • αναπληρωτής, αντικαταστάτης, αντικαθιστώ, αναπληρωματικός, υποκατάστατο, αλλάζω, υποκαθιστώ, αναπληρώνωGreek
  • anstataŭaĵoEsperanto
  • substituir, sustituir, substituto, sustitutoSpanish
  • جانشینPersian
  • varaosa, korvata, vaihtaa, sijainen, vaihtopelaaja, korvikeFinnish
  • substituer, de, remplacer, place, en, substitut, remplaçant, mettreFrench
  • bean ionaid, fear ionaid, ionadaíIrish
  • pótlék, pótol, helyettes, helyettesítHungarian
  • sostituire, rimpiazzo, sostitutoItalian
  • 替える, 代用する, 代える, 替わるJapanese
  • 대용Korean
  • substitutusLatin
  • whakakapiMāori
  • vervanging, vervanger, substitueren, vervangen, plaatsvervangerDutch
  • podstawiać, zastąpić, zamienićPolish
  • substituto, substituirPortuguese
  • substituitor, locțiitor, substitut, substitui, înlocui, înlocuitor, substituentRomanian
  • заменитель, замещать, заменять, замена, заместить, заменитьRussian
  • nadomjestiti, zamjena, заменити, zamijeniti, замена, supstitut, nadomjestak, надоместак, надоместити, supstituiratiSerbo-Croatian
  • substituera, avbytare, substitut, ersättaSwedish
  • ప్రత్యామ్నాయంTelugu
  • haliliTagalog
  • متبادلUrdu
  • thay thếVietnamese
  • פאַרטרעטערYiddish
  • 替代Chinese

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    soft creamy candy
    • A. moan
    • B. interrogate
    • C. fudge
    • D. emerge

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