Hypertext Webster Gateway: "substance"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Substance \Sub"stance\, v. t.
To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to
make rich. [Obs.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Substance \Sub"stance\, n. [F., fr. L. substantia, fr. substare
to be under or present, to stand firm; sub under + stare to
stand. See {Stand}.]
1. That which underlies all outward manifestations;
substratum; the permanent subject or cause of phenomena,
whether material or spiritual; that in which properties
inhere; that which is real, in distinction from that which
is apparent; the abiding part of any existence, in
distinction from any accident; that which constitutes
anything what it is; real or existing essence.

These cooks, how they stamp, and strain, and grind,
And turn substance into accident! --Chaucer.

Heroic virtue did his actions guide, And he the
substance, not the appearance, chose. --Dryden.

2. The most important element in any existence; the
characteristic and essential components of anything; the
main part; essential import; purport.

This edition is the same in substance with the
Latin. --Bp. Burnet.

It is insolent in words, in manner; but in substance
it is not only insulting, but alarming. --Burke.

3. Body; matter; material of which a thing is made; hence,
substantiality; solidity; firmness; as, the substance of
which a garment is made; some textile fabrics have little

4. Material possessions; estate; property; resources.

And there wasted his substance with riotous living.
--Luke xv. 13.

Thy substance, valued at the highest rate, Can not
amount unto a hundred marks. --Shak.

We are destroying many thousand lives, and
exhausting our substance, but not for our own
interest. --Swift.

5. (Theol.) Same as {Hypostasis}, 2.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: that which has mass and occupies space; "an atom is the
smallest indivisible unit of matter" [syn: {matter}]
2: the stuff of which an object consists
3: the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some
idea or experience: "the gist of the prosecutor's
argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party";
"the nub of the story" [syn: {kernel}, {core}, {center}, {essence},
{gist}, {heart}, {heart and soul}, {inwardness}, {marrow},
{meat}, {nub}, {pith}, {sum}, {nitty-gritty}]
4: the idea that is intended; "What is the meaning of this
proverb?" [syn: {meaning}]
5: considerable capital (wealth or income); "he is a man of
means" [syn: {means}]
6: what a communication that is about something is about [syn:
{message}, {content}, {subject matter}]

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