To use in place of something else, with the same function.
In the phrase "substitute X for Y", to use X in place of Y. With increasing frequency used in the semantically opposite sense (see
- I had no shallots so I substituted onion.
the OED's notes).
In the phrase "substitute X with/by Y", to use Y in place of X; to replace X with Y
- I had to substitute new parts for the old ones.
(sports) To remove (a player) from the field of play and bring on another in his place.
- I had to substitute old parts with the new ones. (This usage was formerly proscribed.)
- He was playing poorly and was substituted after twenty minutes
, date=April 11
, author=Phil McNulty
, title=Liverpool 3 - 0 Man City
, work=BBC Sport
, 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.
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" = ???
A replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.
* De Quincey
(sports) A player who is available to replace another if the need arises, and who may or may not actually do so.
- Ladies [in Shakespeare's age] wore masks as the sole substitute known to our ancestors for the modern parasol.
, date=November 3
, author=David Ornstein
, title=Macc Tel-Aviv 1 - 2 Stoke
, work=BBC Sport
, 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.
* See also
To restore (something) to its former condition.
To provide recompense for (something).
* 1922 , , Ulysses , episode 17:
* 1966 , , Incest (1993 edition), ISBN 9780156443005,
- . . . when Frederick M. (Bantam) Lyons had rapidly and successively requested, perused and restituted the copy of the current issue of the Freeman's Journal and National Press which he had been about to throw away (subsequently thrown away), he had proceeded towards the oriental edifice of the Turkish and Warm Baths. . . .
* 1980 , , Wallace Stevens: The Poems of Our Climate , ISBN 9780801491856,
- What I spill in talk or acts rarely is restituted in writing.
* 2004 , , Private Sector , ISBN 9780446613934,
- [W]hat it represents is the inability of language to restitute the loss of memory.
- We were even ordered to restitute the legal costs of the defendants.
That which is restored or offered in place of something; a substitute.