Skip to main content
Select Source:

substance

sub·stance / ˈsəbstəns/ • n. 1. a particular kind of matter with uniform properties: a steel tube coated with a waxy substance. ∎  an intoxicating, stimulating, or narcotic chemical or drug, esp. an illegal one. 2. the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence: proteins compose much of the actual substance of the body. ∎  the quality of having a solid basis in reality or fact: the claim has no substance. ∎  the quality of being dependable or stable: some were inclined to knock her for her lack of substance. 3. the quality of being important, valid, or significant: he had yet to accomplish anything of substance. ∎  the most important or essential part of something; the real or essential meaning: the substance of the treaty. ∎  the subject matter of a text, speech, or work of art, esp. as contrasted with the form or style in which it is presented. ∎  wealth and possessions: a woman of substance. ∎  Philos. the essential nature underlying phenomena, which is subject to changes and accidents. PHRASES: in substance essentially: basic rights are equivalent in substance to human rights.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"substance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"substance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance-0

"substance." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

substance

substance, in philosophy, term used to denote the changeless substratum presumed in some philosophies to be present in all being. Aristotle defined substance as that which possesses attributes but is itself the attribute of nothing. Less precise usage identifies substance with being and essence. The quest of philosophers for the ultimate identity of reality led some to define substance as one (see monism). Frequently the monist has identified substance with God, an absolute existing within itself and creating all other forms (Spinoza). According to dualism there are two kinds of substance. Descartes, for example, held that mind and matter constitute the two kinds of finite substance. Others have defined substance as material (Hobbes) or mental (Lotze), as static (Parmenides) or dynamic (Heraclitus), as knowable (Aristotle) or unknowable (Hume). Kant argued that our cognitive faculties require that we conceive of the world as containing substance, i.e., something that remains constant in the face of continuous change.

See D. Wiggens, Sameness and Substance (1980).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"substance." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"substance." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/substance

"substance." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/substance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

substance

substance essence XIII; a being XIV; (philos.) that which underlies phenomena; material, matter; means, wealth. — (O)F. — L. substantia being, essence, material property, f. substāre, f. SUB- + stāre STAND.
So substantial XIV. — (O)F. substantiel or ChrL. substantiālis; see -AL1. substantially (-LY2) XIV. substantiate give substance to XVII. f. pp. stem of medL. substantiāre; see -ATE3. substantive self-existent XV; (gram.) denoting a substance XVI; having substance XIX; sb. for noun s. (late L. nomen substantivum) XIV. — (O)F. substantif, -ive or late L. substantīvus.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"substance." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"substance." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance-1

"substance." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Substance

SUBSTANCE

Essence; the material or necessary component of something.

A matter of substance, as distinguished from a matter of form, with respect to pleadings, affidavits, indictments, and other legal instruments, entails the essential sufficiency, validity, or merits of the instrument, as opposed to its method or style.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Substance." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Substance." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/substance

"Substance." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/substance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

substance

substanceabeyance, conveyance, purveyance •creance • ambience •irradiance, radiance •expedience, obedience •audience •dalliance, mésalliance •salience •consilience, resilience •emollience • ebullience •convenience, lenience, provenience •impercipience, incipience, percipience •variance • experience •luxuriance, prurience •nescience • omniscience •insouciance • deviance •subservience • transience •alliance, appliance, compliance, defiance, misalliance, neuroscience, reliance, science •allowance •annoyance, clairvoyance, flamboyance •fluence, pursuance •perpetuance • affluence • effluence •mellifluence • confluence •congruence • issuance • continuance •disturbance •attendance, dependence, interdependence, resplendence, superintendence, tendance, transcendence •cadence •antecedence, credence, impedance •riddance • diffidence • confidence •accidence • precedence • dissidence •coincidence, incidence •evidence •improvidence, providence •residence •abidance, guidance, misguidance, subsidence •correspondence, despondence •accordance, concordance, discordance •avoidance, voidance •imprudence, jurisprudence, prudence •impudence • abundance • elegance •arrogance • extravagance •allegiance • indigence •counter-intelligence, intelligence •negligence • diligence • intransigence •exigence •divulgence, effulgence, indulgence, refulgence •convergence, divergence, emergence, insurgence, resurgence, submergence •significance •balance, counterbalance, imbalance, outbalance, valance •parlance • repellence • semblance •bivalence, covalence, surveillance, valence •sibilance • jubilance • vigilance •pestilence • silence • condolence •virulence • ambulance • crapulence •flatulence • feculence • petulance •opulence • fraudulence • corpulence •succulence, truculence •turbulence • violence • redolence •indolence • somnolence • excellence •insolence • nonchalance •benevolence, malevolence •ambivalence, equivalence •Clemence • vehemence •conformance, outperformance, performance •adamance • penance • ordinance •eminence • imminence •dominance, prominence •abstinence • maintenance •continence • countenance •sustenance •appurtenance, impertinence, pertinence •provenance • ordnance • repugnance •ordonnance • immanence •impermanence, permanence •assonance • dissonance • consonance •governance • resonance • threepence •halfpence • sixpence •comeuppance, tuppence, twopence •clarence, transparence •aberrance, deterrence, inherence, Terence •remembrance • entrance •Behrens, forbearance •fragrance • hindrance • recalcitrance •abhorrence, Florence, Lawrence, Lorentz •monstrance •concurrence, co-occurrence, occurrence, recurrence •encumbrance •adherence, appearance, clearance, coherence, interference, perseverance •assurance, durance, endurance, insurance •exuberance, protuberance •preponderance • transference •deference, preference, reference •difference • inference • conference •sufferance • circumference •belligerence • tolerance • ignorance •temperance • utterance • furtherance •irreverence, reverence, severance •deliverance • renascence • absence •acquiescence, adolescence, arborescence, coalescence, convalescence, deliquescence, effervescence, essence, evanescence, excrescence, florescence, fluorescence, incandescence, iridescence, juvenescence, luminescence, obsolescence, opalescence, phosphorescence, pubescence, putrescence, quiescence, quintessence, tumescence •obeisance, Renaissance •puissance •impuissance, reminiscence •beneficence, maleficence •magnificence, munificence •reconnaissance • concupiscence •reticence •licence, license •nonsense •nuisance, translucence •innocence • conversance • sentience •impatience, patience •conscience •repentance, sentence •acceptance • acquaintance •acquittance, admittance, intermittence, pittance, quittance, remittance •assistance, coexistence, consistence, distance, existence, insistence, outdistance, persistence, resistance, subsistence •instance • exorbitance •concomitance •impenitence, penitence •appetence •competence, omnicompetence •inheritance • capacitance • hesitance •Constance • importance • potence •conductance, inductance, reluctance •substance • circumstance •omnipotence • impotence •inadvertence • grievance •irrelevance, relevance •connivance, contrivance •observance • sequence • consequence •subsequence • eloquence •grandiloquence, magniloquence •brilliance • poignance •omnipresence, pleasance, presence •complaisance • malfeasance •incognizance, recognizance •usance • recusance

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"substance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"substance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance

"substance." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 18, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/substance

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.