Substance Sub"stance, 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. [1913 Webster]

These cooks, how they stamp, and strain, and grind, And turn substance into accident! --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Heroic virtue did his actions guide, And he the substance, not the appearance, chose. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. The most important element in any existence; the characteristic and essential components of anything; the main part; essential import; purport. [1913 Webster]

This edition is the same in substance with the Latin. --Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster]

It is insolent in words, in manner; but in substance it is not only insulting, but alarming. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

4. Material possessions; estate; property; resources. [1913 Webster]

And there wasted his substance with riotous living. --Luke xv. 13. [1913 Webster]

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Can not amount unto a hundred marks. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

5. (Theol.) Same as {Hypostasis}, 2. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • substance — [n1] entity, element actuality, animal, being, body, bulk, concreteness, core, corpus, fabric, force, hunk, individual, item, mass, material, matter, object, person, phenomenon, reality, something, staple, stuff, texture, thing; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • substance — [sub′stəns] n. [OFr < L substantia < substare, to be present < sub , under + stare, to STAND] 1. the real or essential part or element of anything; essence, reality, or basic matter 2. a) the physical matter of which a thing consists;… …   English World dictionary

  • Substance — Sub stance, v. t. To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • substance — (n.) c.1300, essential nature, from O.Fr. substance (12c.), from L. substantia being, essence, material, from substans, prp. of substare stand firm, be under or present, from sub up to, under + stare to stand, from PIE root *sta to stand (see… …   Etymology dictionary

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