AskDefine | Define substance

Dictionary Definition



1 that which has mass and occupies space; "an atom is the smallest indivisible unit of matter" [syn: matter]
2 the stuff of which an object consists
3 the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story" [syn: kernel, core, center, essence, gist, heart, heart and soul, inwardness, marrow, meat, nub, pith, sum, nitty-gritty]
4 the idea that is intended; "What is the meaning of this proverb?" [syn: meaning]
5 considerable capital (wealth or income); "he is a man of means" [syn: means]
6 what a communication that is about something is about [syn: message, content, subject matter]

User Contributed Dictionary



From substance.



  1. Physical matter; material.
  2. The essential part of anything; the most vital part.
  3. Considerable wealth or resources.
    A man of substance.
  4. drugs
    substance abuse


essential part
true meaning
considerable wealth
  • Danish: formue
  • Finnish: vara
  • German: Substanz
  • Hungarian: vagyon
  • Japanese: 本質, 実体
  • Norwegian: formue
  • Russian: вес (ves)
  • Swedish: resurs

Related terms



From substantia, substance or essence, noun form from present participle substans, from substare, exist, lit. stand under, from stare, stand



fr-noun f

Extensive Definition

The word originates from Latin substantia, literally meaning "standing under". The word was used to translate the Greek philosophical term ousia.
Substance may refer to:
See also:
substance in Arabic: مادة كيميائية
substance in Czech: Látka (rozcestník)
substance in Galician: Substancia
substance in Italian: Sostanza
substance in Polish: Substancja
substance in Slovak: Látka
substance in Tagalog: Sustansyang kimikal
substance in Yiddish: סובסטאנץ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Swiss bank account, actuality, affective meaning, affluence, air, amount, amplitude, assets, atom, atomic particles, atoms, axiom, balance, bank account, basis, bearing, being, bench mark, best part, better part, body, bottom, bottom dollar, bottomless purse, brute matter, budget, building block, bulging purse, bulk, burden, call, cardinal point, case, cash reserves, cause, center, chapter, checking account, chemical element, chief thing, climax, coloring, command of money, component, composition, concern, concreteness, connotation, consequence, constituent, core, cornerstone, corporeality, corpus, crisis, critical point, crux, denotation, density, distillate, distillation, drift, durability, earth, easy circumstances, effect, element, elementary particle, elementary unit, elixir, embarras de richesses, entity, essence, essential, essential matter, essentiality, exchequer, extension, extent, fabric, finances, fire, firmness, flower, focus, focus of attention, focus of interest, force, fortune, foundation, fund, fundamental, fundamental particle, funds, generality, gist, gold, good reason, grammatical meaning, gravamen, great point, ground, grounds, handsome fortune, head, heading, heart, high income, high point, high tax bracket, hyle, hypostasis, idea, impact, implication, import, important thing, independence, individual, inner essence, intension, issue, kernel, keystone, kitty, landmark, lexical meaning, life savings, literal meaning, living issue, lucre, luxuriousness, magnitude, main body, main point, main thing, major part, majority, mammon, marrow, mass, material, material basis, material point, material resources, material wealth, material world, materiality, materials, materiel, matter, matter in hand, meaning, meaningfulness, means, measure, measurement, meat, medium, milestone, molecule, monad, money, money to burn, moneybags, moneys, most, motif, motive, natural world, nature, nest egg, nub, nubbin, nucleus, numbers, nuts and bolts, object, opulence, opulency, overtone, palpability, pecuniary resources, pelf, pertinence, physical world, pith, pivot, plenum, plurality, pocket, point, point at issue, point in question, ponderability, pool, possessions, postulate, practical consequence, principle, problem, property, prosperity, prosperousness, purport, purse, quantity, quantum, question, quid, quiddity, quintessence, quintessential, range of meaning, raw material, real issue, real meaning, reality, reason, recap, recapitulation, reference, referent, relation, relevance, reserves, resources, resume, riches, richness, right, rubric, run-through, rundown, salient point, sap, savings, savings account, scope, semantic cluster, semantic field, sense, short, significance, signification, significatum, signifie, sine qua non, solidity, soul, soundness, span of meaning, spirit, stability, staple, steadiness, stock, store, stoutness, strength, structural meaning, stuff, sturdiness, subject, subject matter, subject of thought, substances, substantiality, substantialness, substantive point, substratum, sum, sum and substance, sum total, summary, summation, supply, symbolic meaning, tangibility, tangible, tenor, text, the bottom line, the four elements, the nitty-gritty, the point, theme, thrust, topic, totality of associations, toughness, transferred meaning, treasure, turning point, unadorned meaning, undertone, unit of being, unregistered bank account, upper bracket, upshot, value, warrant, water, wealth, wealthiness, wherewithal, whole, worth
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