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Webster 1913 Edition


Substance

Sub′stance

,
Noun.
[F., fr. L.
substantia
, fr.
substare
to be under or present, to stand firm;
sub
under +
stare
to stand. See
Stand
.]
1.
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.
These cooks, how they stamp, and strain, and grind,
And turn
substance
into accident!
Chaucer.
Heroic virtue did his actions guide,
And he the
substance
, not the appearance, chose.
Dryden.
2.
The most important element in any existence; the characteristic and essential components of anything; the main part; essential import; purport.
This edition is the same in
substance
with the Latin.
Bp. Burnet.
It is insolent in words, in manner; but in
substance
it is not only insulting, but alarming.
Burke.
3.
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.
Material possessions; estate; property; resources.
And there wasted his
substance
with riotous living.
Luke xv. 13.
Thy
substance
, valued at the highest rate,
Can not amount unto a hundred marks.
Shakespeare
We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our
substance
, but not for our own interest.
Swift.
5.
(Theol.)
Same as
Hypostasis
, 2.

Sub′stance

,
Verb.
T.
To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich.
[Obs.]

Webster 1828 Edition


Substance

SUB'STANCE

,
Noun.
[L. substantia, substo; sub and sto, to stand.]
1.
In a general sense, being; something existing by itself; that which really is or exists; equally applicable to matter or spirit. Thus the soul of man is called an immaterial substance, a cogitative substance, a substance endued with thought. We say, a stone is a hard substance, tallow is a soft substance.
2.
That which supports accidents.
That which subsists by itself is called substance; that which subsists in and by another, is called a mode or manner of being.
3.
The essential part; the main or material part. In this epitome, we have the substance of the whole book.
This edition is the same in substance with the Latin.
4.
Something real, not imaginary; something solid, not empty.
Heroic virtue did his actions guide,
And he the substance, not th' appearance chose.
5.
Body; corporeal nature or matter.
The qualities of plants are more various than those of animal substances.
6.
Goods; estate; means of living. Job's substance was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, &c. Job 1.
We are--exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest.

Definition 2022


substance

substance

English

Alternative forms

Noun

substance (plural substances)

  1. Physical matter; material.
    • 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations
      Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
    • 2013 July 20, Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  2. The essential part of anything; the most vital part.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Heroic virtue did his actions guide, / And he the substance, not the appearance, chose.
    • Bishop Burnet
      This edition is the same in substance with the Latin.
    • Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
      It is insolent in words, in manner; but in substance it is not only insulting, but alarming.
  3. Substantiality; solidity; firmness.
    Some textile fabrics have little substance.
  4. Material possessions; estate; property; resources.
    a man of substance
    • Bible, Luke xv. 13
      And there wasted his substance with riotous living.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, / Cannot amount unto a hundred marks.
    • Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
      We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest.
  5. A form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties.
  6. Drugs (illegal narcotics)
    substance abuse
  7. (theology) Hypostasis.

Related terms

Translations

See also


French

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin substantia (substance, essence), from substāns, present active participle of substō (exist; literally, stand under), from sub + stō (stand).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /syb.stɑ̃s/

Noun

substance f (plural substances)

  1. substance

Anagrams


Old French

Alternative forms

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin substantia.

Noun

substance f (oblique plural substances, nominative singular substance, nominative plural substances)

  1. most essential; substantial part
  2. existence

Related terms

Descendants