Definition for SUB'STANCE

SUB'STANCE, n. [Fr.; It. sustanza; Sp. substancia; L. substantia, substo; sub and sto, to stand.]

  1. In a general sense, being; something existing by itself; that which really is or exists; equally applicable to matter or spirit. Thus the soul of man is called an immaterial substance, a cogitative substance, a substance endued with thought. We say, a stone is a hard substance; tallow is a soft substance.
  2. That which supports accidents. That which subsists by itself is called substance; that which subsists in and by another, is called a mode or manner of being. – Watts.
  3. The essential part; the main or material part. In this epitome we have the substance of the whole book. This edition is the same in substance with the Latin. – Burnet.
  4. Something real, not imaginary; something solid, not empty. Heroic virtue did his actions guide, / And he the substance, not th' appearance chose. – Dryden.
  5. Body; corporeal nature or matter. The qualities of plants are more various than those of animate substances. – Arbuthnot.
  6. Goods; estate; means of living. Job's substance was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, &c. – Job i. We are – exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest. – Swift.

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