Substance

Definition of Substance

Sub´stance
n.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.
These cooks, how they stamp, and strain, and grind,
And turn substance into accident!
- Chaucer.
Heroic virtue did his actions guide,
And he the substance, not the appearance, chose.
- Dryden.
2.The most important element in any existence; the characteristic and essential components of anything; the main part; essential import; purport.
This edition is the same in substance with the Latin.
- Bp. Burnet.
It is insolent in words, in manner; but in substance it is not only insulting, but alarming.
- Burke.
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.
4.Material possessions; estate; property; resources.
And there wasted his substance with riotous living.
- Luke xv. 13.
Thy substance, valued at the highest rate,
Can not amount unto a hundred marks.
- Shak.
We are destroying many thousand lives, and exhausting our substance, but not for our own interest.
- Swift.
5.(Theol.) Same as Hypostasis, 2.
v. t.1.To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich.

Related Words

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