Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of substance
Meaning of substance by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Old French substance, from Latin substantia ( “substance, essence” ), from substāns, present active participle of substō ( “exist; literally, stand under” ), from sub + stō ( “stand” ) .


    substance ( plural: substances )

    1. Physical matter; material .
    2. The essential part of anything; the most vital part .
    3. Considerable wealth or resources .
      A man of substance .
    4. Drugs ( illegal narcotics )
      substance abuse

    See also

Explanation of substance by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists

    2. DNA is the substance of our genes
    3. a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties

    4. shigella is one of the most toxic substances known to man
    5. the idea that is intended

    6. the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience

    7. what a communication that is about something is about

    8. considerable capital ( wealth or income )

    9. material of a particular kind or constitution

    10. the immune response recognizes invading substances

    Definition of substance by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Substance n. [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. Shak.

      We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest. Swift.

      5. ( Theol. ) Same as Hypostasis, 2.

    2. Substance, v. t. To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich. [Obs.]