substance Definition

  • 1a particular kind of matter with uniform properties
  • 2the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence
  • 3the quality of being important, valid, or significant

Using substance: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "substance" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The substance of the argument was lost in the shouting match.

  • Example

    The substance of the cake is flour, sugar, and eggs.

  • Example

    The substance of the book is about the history of the Roman Empire.

  • Example

    The substance of his speech was that we need to work harder.

substance Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for substance

Antonyms for substance

Idioms Using substance

  • the most important or essential part of something


    The substance of her argument was that we need to invest more in education.

  • something that appears to be impressive or interesting but is actually of little value or substance


    The new product was all sizzle and no substance, failing to deliver on its promises.

  • cut to the chase (get to the substance)

    to get to the point or important information without wasting time on unnecessary details


    Let's cut to the chase and talk about the real issue at hand.

Phrases with substance

  • a drug or chemical whose manufacture, possession, or use is regulated by a government, such as illegal drugs or prescription medications


    Marijuana is considered a controlled substance in many countries.

  • the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs


    He was admitted to rehab for substance abuse treatment.

  • a legal doctrine that holds that the economic substance of a transaction or arrangement should be given greater weight than its legal form


    The court ruled that the transaction was a sham and disregarded it under the principle of substance over form.

Origins of substance

from Latin 'substantia', meaning 'being, essence'


Summary: substance in Brief

The term 'substance' [ˈsʌbstəns] refers to a particular kind of matter with uniform properties, the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists, and the quality of being important or significant. It can be used in phrases like 'substance abuse' and idioms like 'all sizzle and no substance,' which means something appears impressive but has little value. 'Substance' also appears in legal contexts, such as 'substance over form,' which prioritizes economic substance over legal form.

How do native speakers use this expression?