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 (sŭb′stĭ-to͞ot′, -tyo͞ot′)
1. One that takes the place of another: finding substitutes for coal; came in as a substitute at the end of the game.
2. Grammar A word or construction used in place of another word, phrase, or clause.
v. sub·sti·tut·ed, sub·sti·tut·ing, sub·sti·tutes
1. To put or use (a person or thing) in place of another: substituted plastic for steel to reduce the weight.
2. Usage Problem To replace: substituted the worn-out couch with a new one; original artworks that were substituted by fakes.
To take the place of another: "Only art can substitute for nature" (Leonard Bernstein).

[Middle English, from Old French substitut, from Latin substitūtus, past participle of substituere, to substitute : sub-, in place of; see sub- + statuere, to cause to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

sub′sti·tut′a·bil′it·y n.
sub′sti·tut′a·ble adj.
sub′sti·tu′tive (-to͞o′tĭv, -tyo͞o′-) adj.
Usage Note: When you describe an action in which you remove one item and put a different item in its place, it's important to clearly identify which item is taking the place of the other. The verbs usually used for this kind of action are replace and substitute, which have converse meanings: if you take away an old thing and put a new thing in its place, you are replacing the old thing with the new thing, or substituting the new thing for the old thing. In the passive voice, old is replaced with new, or new is substituted for old. Sometimes, however, people switch the placement of old and new when using the verb substitute, especially in the passive voice. For example, in a low-calorie recipe that uses applesauce (the new thing) instead of butter (the old thing), the two standard constructions are Butter is replaced with applesauce or Applesauce is substituted for butter. But people sometimes say Butter is substituted by [or with] applesauce. This use of substitute is widely criticized, and most of the Usage Panel dislikes it: in our 2013 survey, 80 percent disapproved of this sentence with the preposition by, and 67 percent disapproved of it with with. In sports, however, one often encounters the less standard use of substitute, where the old player is substituted for the new one rather than vice versa. The Usage Panel is more accepting of such usage in this context; in 2013, just over half the Panel (56 percent) disapproved of the sentence The goalie allowed three goals in the first 12 minutes and was substituted before the end of the period. Unless you are discussing sports, adhering to the traditional constructions will make your writing clearer: replace the old with the new; substitute the new for the old.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. acting or able to act as a substitute
2. of or involving substitution
ˈsubstiˌtutively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsʌb stɪˌtu tɪv, -ˌtyu-)

1. serving as a substitute.
2. involving substitution.
sub′sti•tu`tive•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, this peculiarity results less from the general existence of private health insurances, but rather from its substitutive character.
Dewey Dell's determination to put an end to her pregnancy is a substitutive act of mastery which is to compensate her for her total helplessness at having lost her virginity.
In relation to diasporic movement, for example, it is possible to track how conditions of economic, religious, military, or political violence create substitutive territorial events whereby settlers claim an originary status--a type of homecoming--over that of the indigenous inhabitants who are said to be already at home on the land to which settlers eventually lay claim.
Indeed, the whole world can become the substitutive context for working out destructive entitlement issues in the family of origin.
Some evaluation of threat level, due to combined influence of both factors, was obtained from tests of samples 3.5 and 4.5, with remaining pitted layer, for which values [R.sub.e], [R.sub.m] and [A.sub.5,65] were indicated, with regard to the area of substitutive section [A.sub.eq].
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria handed over two Niva jeeps and 8 computers to the Main Penalty Execution Department of the Kyrgyz Justice Ministry on Monday.The equipment and vehicles were handed over under the Methadone Substitutive Therapy in Penitentiary System of the Kyrgyz Republic Pilot Program.
(5) We interpret the occurrence of gestures in oral communication as either integrative or substitutive of verbal language.
The model of import substitutive industrialization transformed the region's economies in the 1950s-1960s being quite successful even if subsequently discredited.
The second death is the death or murder we inflict on the dead through successful, substitutive work of mourning.
Dans cette phase de consolidation du pouvoir central, les elites locales deviennent de moins en moins aptes a negocier les termes de leur participation aux divers modeles de developpement qui sont mis de l'avant depuis l'industrialisation substitutive jusqu'a l'ouverture de l'economie regionale sous le signe du neoliberalisme.