Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Substitute

Sub′stit′ute

,
Noun.
[L.
substitutus
, p. p. of
substituere
to put under, put in the place of;
sub
under +
statuere
to put, place: cf. F.
substitut
. See
Statute
.]
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
; specifically
(Mil.)
,
a person who enlists for military service in the place of a conscript or drafted man.
Hast thou not made me here thy
substitute
?
Milton.
Ladies [in Shakespeare’s age] . . . wore masks as the sole
substitute
known to our ancestors for the modern parasol.
De Quincey.

Sub′stit′ute

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Substituted
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Substituting
.]
[See
Substitute
,
Noun.
]
To put in the place of another person or thing; to exchange.
Some few verses are inserted or
substituted
in the room of others.
Congreve.

Webster 1828 Edition


Substitute

SUB'STITUTE

,
Verb.
T.
[L. substituo; sub and statuo, to set.]
To put in the place of another.
Some few verses are inserted or substituted in the room of others.

SUB'STITUTE

,
Noun.
One person put in the place of another to answer the same purpose. A person may be a substitute with full powers to act for another in an office. Representatives in legislation are the substitutes of their constituents. The orthodox creed of christians is that Christ dies as the substitute of sinners.
1.
One thing put in the place of another. If you have not one medicine, use another as its substitute.

Definition 2021


substitute

substitute

English

Verb

substitute (third-person singular simple present substitutes, present participle substituting, simple past and past participle substituted)

  1. (transitive) To use in place of something else, with the same function.
    I had no shallots so I substituted onion.
  2. (transitive) In the phrase "substitute X for Y", to use X in place of Y. With increasing frequency used in the semantically opposite sense (see the OED's notes).
    I had to substitute new parts for the old ones.
  3. (transitive) In the phrase "substitute X with/by Y", to use Y in place of X; to replace X with Y
    I had to substitute old parts with the new ones. (This usage was formerly proscribed.)
  4. (transitive, sports) 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
    • 2011 April 11, Phil McNulty, “Liverpool 3 - 0 Man City”, in BBC Sport:
      Mario Balotelli replaced Tevez but his contribution was so negligible that he suffered the indignity of being substituted himself as time ran out, a development that encapsulated a wretched 90 minutes for City and boss Roberto Mancini.
  5. (intransitive) To serve as a replacement (for someone or something)
    • 1987, James Tobin, Essays in Economics, Vol. 2, p. 75
      Accumulation of wealth by this route may substitute for personal saving.

Usage notes

The verb "to substitute" can be used transitively in two opposite ways. "To substitute X" may mean either "use X in place of something else" (as in definitions 1 and 2), or "use something else in place of X" (as in definitions 3 and 4). The latter use is more recent, but it is widespread and now generally accepted (see the COED's note on the matter). However, if the indirect object (the "something else") is omitted, the preposition is also omitted, and the reader or hearer cannot tell which sense is meant:

  • "Substitute butter for olive oil" = Use butter instead of olive oil
  • "Substitute butter with olive oil" = Use olive oil instead of butter
  • "Substitute butter" = ???

Translations

Noun

substitute (plural substitutes)

  1. A replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.
    • De Quincey
      Ladies [in Shakespeare's age] [] wore masks as the sole substitute known to our ancestors for the modern parasol.
  2. (sports) A player who is available to replace another if the need arises, and who may or may not actually do so.
    • 2011 November 3, David Ornstein, “Macc Tel-Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke”, in BBC Sport:
      Dean Whitehead opened the scoring shortly after the break with a low finish and substitute Peter Crouch sealed the win with a tap-in.
  3. (historical) One who enlists for military service in the place of a conscript.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:substitute

Translations


Latin

Participle

substitute

  1. vocative masculine singular of substitutus