1. that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material: form and substance.
2. a species of matter of definite chemical composition: a chalky substance.
3. controlled substance.
4. the subject matter of thought, discourse, study, etc.
5. the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.
6. substantial or solid character or quality: claims lacking in substance.
7. consistency; body: soup without much substance.
8. the meaning or gist, as of speech or writing.
9. something that has separate or independent existence.
a. something that exists by itself and in which accidents or attributes inhere; that which receives modifications and is not itself a mode; something that is causally active; something that is more than an event.
b. the essential part of a thing; essence.
c. a thing considered as a continuing whole.
11. possessions, means, or wealth: to squander one's substance.
12. Linguistics. the articulatory or acoustic reality or the perceptual manifestation of a word or other construction (distinguished from form ).
13. a standard of weights for paper.
14. in substance,
a. concerning the essentials; substantially.
b. actually; really: That is in substance how it appeared to me.
4. theme, subject.
4, 5, 8. essence.
8. significance, import, pith.
1. See matter.
Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English < Latin substantia substance, essence (literally, that which stands under, i.e., underlies), equivalent to sub- sub- + -stant- (stem of stāns, present participle of stāre to stand) + -ia -ia (see -ance)
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