Vice vs Substitute - What's the difference?

vice | substitute |

As an adverb vice

is more.

As a verb substitute is

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

As a noun substitute is

a replacement or stand-in for something that achieves a similar result or purpose.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Etymology 1

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


(en noun)
  • A bad habit.
  • Smoking is a vice , not a virtue.
  • (legal) Any of various crimes related (depending on jurisdiction) to prostitution, pornography, gambling, alcohol, or drugs.
  • A defect in the temper or behaviour of a horse, such as to make the animal dangerous, to injure its health, or to diminish its usefulness.
  • * From the case of Scholefield v. Robb (1839).
  • Antonyms
    * (bad habit) virtue
    Derived terms
    * vice squad

    See also

    * habit

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) ; akin to English withy.

    Alternative forms

    * vise (US)


    (en noun)
  • A mechanical screw apparatus used for clamping or holding (also spelled vise).
  • A tool for drawing lead into cames, or flat grooved rods, for casements.
  • (obsolete) A grip or grasp.
  • * 1597 , , II. I. 22:
  • Fang. An I but fist him once; an a’ come but within my vice ,–


  • To hold or squeeze with a vice, or as if with a vice.
  • * 1610 , , I. ii. 416:
  • Camillo. As he had seen’t, or been an instrument / To vice you to't, that you have touched his queen / Forbiddenly
  • * De Quincey
  • The coachman's hand was viced between his upper and lower thigh.

    Etymology 3

    From (etyl) , ablative form of vicis.


    vice (no comparative or superlative)
  • in place of; subordinate to; designating a person below another in rank
  • vice president
    vice admiral
    Derived terms
    * vice admiral * vice governor * vice mayor * vice president


  • instead of, in place of
  • A. B. was appointed postmaster vice C. D. resigned.




  • 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