What does substitute mean?

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

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. Substitute

    Substitute is a song by the English rock band The Who, written by Pete Townshend. Released in March 1966, the single reached number five in the UK and was later included on the compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. In 2006, Pitchfork ranked "Substitute" at number 91 on the "200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".


  1. substitute

    Substitute generally refers to a person or thing acting as a replacement for another. This term could be used in various contexts including in education referring to a substitute teacher who steps in when the regular teacher is absent, in sports referring to a player who comes in to replace another, or in cooking referring to an ingredient used in place of another. Additionally, it can refer to an action of putting something in place of another.

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. Tomislav Salopek:

    The soldiers of Islamic State ... Wilayet Sinai catched me at Wednesday, 22 July, 2015. They want to substitute me with the Muslim women arrested in Egyptian prisons. This matter have to be achieved before 48 hours from now. If not, the soldiers of Wilayet Sinai will kill me.

  2. Douglas MacArthur:

    In war there is no substitute for victory.

  3. Taylor Berry:

    Just like many may choose to have a glass of water in between cocktails, some non-alcoholic beverages provide an alternative for drinkers when they want to moderate or feel like enjoying a drink without the alcohol by volume, ultimately non-alcoholic drinks are mostly formulated to taste like familiar adult beverages, giving many consumers an occasional substitute, not necessarily an outright replacement.

  4. President Ronald Reagan:

    Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer. It's so hard for government planners, no matter how sophisticated, to ever substitute for millions of individuals working night and day to make their dreams come true. The fact is, bureaucracies are a problem around the world.

  5. Al Gidari:

    This isn't a substitute for testing - you need to know who has it - but it produces actionable results so people can act responsibly, self-isolate and reduce anxiety in the community as a whole.

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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"substitute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/substitute>.

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    given to or marked by the consumption of alcohol
    A bibulous
    B dicotyledonous
    C flabby
    D bonzer

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