adjective Etymology: probably from French insubstantiel, from Late Latin insubstantialis, from Latin in- + Late Latin substantialis substantial Date: 1607 not substantial: as a. lacking substance or material nature b. lacking firmness or solidity ; flimsyinsubstantiality noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Insubstantial — In sub*stan tial, a. Unsubstantial; not real or strong. Insubstantial pageant. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • insubstantial — I adjective airy, baseless, bodiless, chimerical, ephemeral, fanciful, feeble, flimsy, fragile, frail, groundless, hallucinatory, illusive, illusory, imaginary, imagined, immaterial, impalpable, inadequate, inconsequential, inconsiderable,… …   Law dictionary

  • insubstantial — (adj.) c.1600, from M.L. insubstantialis, from in not (see IN (Cf. in ) (1)) + substantialis (see SUBSTANTIAL (Cf. substantial)). Related: Insubstantially …   Etymology dictionary

  • insubstantial — has ousted unsubstantial for the word meaning ‘lacking substance or solidity’ …   Modern English usage

  • insubstantial — [adj] weak, imaginary aerial, airy, chimerical, decrepit, ephemeral, false, fanciful, feeble, flimsy, fly by night*, fragile, frail, idle, illusory, immaterial, imponderable, incorporeal, infirm, intangible, metaphysical, petty, poor, puny,… …   New thesaurus

  • insubstantial — ► ADJECTIVE 1) lacking strength and solidity. 2) imaginary. DERIVATIVES insubstantiality noun insubstantially adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • insubstantial — [in΄səb stan′shəl] adj. [ML insubstantialis] not substantial; specif., a) not real; imaginary b) not solid or firm; weak or flimsy insubstantiality [in΄səb stan΄shē al′ə tē] n …   English World dictionary

  • insubstantial — in|sub|stan|tial [ˌınsəbˈstænʃəl] adj 1.) formal not solid, large, strong, or definite ▪ The evidence seemed very insubstantial. ▪ an insubstantial meal ▪ In the distance was the insubstantial outline of a ship. 2.) literary not existing as a… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • insubstantial — adjective 1) an insubstantial structure Syn: flimsy, fragile, breakable, weak, frail, slight, unstable, shaky, wobbly, rickety, ramshackle, jerry built Ant: sturdy 2) …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • insubstantial — [[t]ɪ̱nsəbstæ̱nʃ(ə)l[/t]] ADJ GRADED Something that is insubstantial is not large, solid, or strong. Mars has an insubstantial atmosphere, consisting almost entirely of carbon dioxide... Her limbs were insubstantial, almost transparent …   English dictionary

  • insubstantial — adjective 1 formal something that is insubstantial is much too small or weak and does not look solid enough: a slender rope bridge, terrifyingly insubstantial 2 literary not existing as a real object or person: Pale figures, like insubstantial… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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