Definition of SUBSTANCE


Substance is a noun referring to the material or matter of which something is made, as well as the essential nature, quality, or content of a thing. It encompasses physical matter, chemical elements, or tangible entities, as well as the inherent characteristics, significance, or importance of a concept or entity.

Material or Matter: As a noun, substance denotes physical matter or material substance, including solids, liquids, gases, or particles that comprise the composition of objects, substances, or organisms. It encompasses tangible elements such as wood, metal, water, air, or organic compounds, forming the basis of physical existence and properties.

Essential Nature or Quality: Moreover, substance refers to the essential nature, essence, or core characteristics of something, distinguishing it from superficial appearances or incidental features. It embodies the intrinsic qualities, attributes, or properties that define the identity, integrity, or significance of an object, idea, or phenomenon.

Significance or Importance: Additionally, substance conveys the significance, importance, or meaningful content of a concept, argument, or statement, emphasizing its depth, validity, or relevance. It implies substance over form, emphasizing the substance of an idea or argument rather than its outward appearance or presentation.

Validity or Truthfulness: In philosophical or legal contexts, substance may also refer to the underlying reality, validity, or truthfulness of a claim, assertion, or testimony, distinguishing substantive facts or evidence from mere appearances or superficial allegations.

Examples: Examples of substance as a noun include the chemical substances found in nature, such as water, oxygen, or gold. It also refers to the substantial content or essence of a literary work, the substantive arguments presented in a debate, or the substantive provisions of a legal document.

Substance encompasses the material or matter of which something is made, as well as the essential nature, quality, or content that defines its identity or significance. Whether referring to physical matter, intrinsic qualities, meaningful content, or underlying reality, substance embodies the core essence or essence of existence, knowledge, or meaning in various contexts of human experience.

Examples of SUBSTANCE in a sentence

  • The scientist conducted experiments to determine the chemical substance of the new compound.
  • The artist used various substances like paint, clay, and wood to create their masterpiece.
  • The police found an unknown white powdery substance at the crime scene and sent it for analysis.
  • Education is more than just memorizing facts; it’s about understanding the substance of the subject matter.
  • The company’s success is not just due to its flashy marketing but also the quality and substance of its products.
  • The book lacked substance, as it was filled with cliches and shallow characters.
  • After years of research, the scientist finally discovered a new substance with remarkable properties.
  • The politician’s speech lacked substance, consisting mostly of empty promises and vague statements.


The term substance delves into the essence, materiality, and significance of objects or concepts, embodying the fundamental nature or essential qualities that define them. Rooted in Latin and philosophical inquiry, it has evolved into a noun that encompasses physical matter, essential attributes, or the meaningful content of ideas or arguments.

  • Latin and Philosophical Origins: Substance originates from the Latin word “substantia,” which denotes the essential nature or underlying reality of something. In philosophical discourse, substance has been a central concept, referring to the fundamental essence or being of things that exist independently of their properties or attributes.
  • Physical Matter and Materiality: Substance refers to physical matter or material entities that occupy space and possess mass. It encompasses a wide range of tangible forms, from solid, liquid, and gaseous substances to complex chemical compounds and elemental components found in the natural world.
  • Essential Attributes and Qualities: Beyond physical matter, substance also denotes the essential attributes or qualities that define the nature of something. It encompasses the intrinsic characteristics, properties, or features that give an object or concept its distinct identity or significance.
  • Meaningful Content and Significance: In a broader sense, substance refers to the meaningful content or significance of ideas, arguments, or expressions. It embodies the essential core or essence of a message, theory, or narrative, representing the depth, relevance, and impact of its content.
  • Metaphysical and Metaphorical Connotations: Substance carries metaphysical and metaphorical connotations, suggesting depth, solidity, and enduring significance. It invokes notions of stability, permanence, and authenticity, as well as the substantive content or substance of a discussion, debate, or discourse.

Substance serves as a cornerstone of philosophical inquiry, scientific investigation, and everyday discourse, representing the foundational essence and meaningful content of objects, concepts, and arguments. From its linguistic roots in Latin to its philosophical and practical applications, the term embodies the enduring quest to understand the essence and significance of the world around us.


  • Material
  • Matter
  • Element
  • Compound
  • Entity
  • Essence
  • Chemical
  • Composition


  • Void
  • Nothingness
  • Vacuum
  • Emptiness
  • Insubstantiality
  • Air
  • Vapor
  • Nonentity


  • Substance abuse
  • Substance use disorder
  • Substance dependence
  • Substance addiction
  • Substance testing
  • Substantial
  • Substance-free
  • Substance control

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