Substitute vs Institute - What's the difference?

substitute | institute |

As nouns the difference between substitute and institute

is that substitute is a replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose while institute is .

As a verb substitute

is to use in place of something else, with the same function.




  • To use in place of something else, with the same function.
  • I had no shallots so I substituted onion.
  • In the phrase "substitute X for Y", to use X in place of Y. With increasing frequency used in the semantically opposite sense (see the OED's notes).
  • I had to substitute new parts for the old ones.
  • In the phrase "substitute X with/by Y", to use Y in place of X; to replace X with Y
  • I had to substitute old parts with the new ones. (This usage was formerly proscribed.)
  • (sports) To remove (a player) from the field of play and bring on another in his place.
  • He was playing poorly and was substituted after twenty minutes
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=April 11 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Liverpool 3 - 0 Man City , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Mario Balotelli replaced Tevez but his contribution was so negligible that he suffered the indignity of being substituted himself as time ran out, a development that encapsulated a wretched 90 minutes for City and boss Roberto Mancini. }}
  • To serve as a replacement (for someone or something)
  • * 1987 , , Essays in Economics, Vol. 2 , p. 75
  • Accumulation of wealth by this route may substitute for personal saving.

    Usage notes

    The verb "to substitute" can be used transitively in two opposite ways. "To substitute X" may mean either "use X in place of something else" (as in definitions 1 and 2), or "use something else in place of X" (as in definitions 3 and 4). The latter use is more recent, but it is widespread and now generally accepted (see the COED's note on the matter). However, if the indirect object (the "something else") is omitted, the preposition is also omitted, and the reader or hearer cannot tell which sense is meant: * "Substitute butter for olive oil" = Use butter instead of olive oil * "Substitute olive oil for butter" = Use olive oil instead of butter * "Substitute butter" = ??? * "Substitute olive oil" = ???


    (en noun)
  • A replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.
  • * De Quincey
  • Ladies [in Shakespeare's age] wore masks as the sole substitute known to our ancestors for the modern parasol.
  • (sports) A player who is available to replace another if the need arises, and who may or may not actually do so.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=November 3 , author=David Ornstein , title=Macc Tel-Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Dean Whitehead opened the scoring shortly after the break with a low finish and substitute Peter Crouch sealed the win with a tap-in.}}
  • (historical) One who enlists for military service in the place of a conscript.
  • Synonyms

    * See also



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) institut, from (etyl), from (etyl) .


    (wikipedia institute) (en noun)
  • An organization founded to promote a cause
  • I work in a medical research institute .
  • An institution of learning; a college, especially for technical subjects
  • The building housing such an institution
  • (obsolete) The act of instituting; institution.
  • * Milton
  • water sanctified by Christ's institute
  • (obsolete) That which is instituted, established, or fixed, such as a law, habit, or custom.
  • * Burke
  • They made a sort of institute and digest of anarchy.
  • * Dryden
  • to make the Stoics' institutes thy own
  • (legal, Scotland) The person to whom an estate is first given by destination or limitation.
  • (Tomlins)
    Derived terms
    * educational institute * research institute * academic institute

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl), from (etyl) .


  • To begin or initiate (something); to found.
  • He instituted the new policy of having children walk through a metal detector to enter school.
  • * (rfdate) Shakespeare
  • And haply institute / A course of learning and ingenious studies.
  • * 1776 , (Thomas Jefferson), (Declaration of Independence) :
  • Whenever any from of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government.
  • (obsolete) To train, instruct.
  • *, II.27:
  • *:Publius was the first that ever instituted the Souldier to manage his armes by dexteritie and skil, and joyned art unto vertue, not for the use of private contentions, but for the wars and Roman peoples quarrels.
  • * (rfdate) Dr. H. More
  • If children were early instituted , knowledge would insensibly insinuate itself.
  • To nominate; to appoint.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • We institute your Grace / To be our regent in these parts of France.
  • (ecclesiastical, legal) To invest with the spiritual charge of a benefice, or the care of souls.
  • (Blackstone)


  • (obsolete) Established; organized; founded.
  • * Robynson (More's Utopia)
  • They have but few laws. For to a people so instruct and institute , very few to suffice.