from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or having substance; material.
  • adj. True or real; not imaginary.
  • adj. Solidly built; strong.
  • adj. Ample; sustaining: a substantial breakfast.
  • adj. Considerable in importance, value, degree, amount, or extent: won by a substantial margin.
  • adj. Possessing wealth or property; well-to-do.
  • n. An essential. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A solid thing. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Belonging to substance; actually existing; real; as, substantial life.
  • adj. Not seeming or imaginary; not illusive; real; solid; true; veritable.
  • adj. Corporeal; material; firm.
  • adj. Having good substance; strong; stout; solid; firm; as, substantial cloth; a substantial fence or wall.
  • adj. possessed of goods or an estate; moderately wealthy; responsible; as, a substantial freeholder.
  • adj. Large in size, quantity, or value; as, a substantial amount of money; vast
  • adj. Most important; essential.
  • adj. Ample or full.
  • adj. Significantly great.
  • n. Anything having substance; an essential part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Belonging to substance; actually existing; real.
  • adj. Not seeming or imaginary; not illusive; real; solid; true; veritable.
  • adj. Corporeal; material; firm.
  • adj. Having good substance; strong; stout; solid; firm.
  • adj. Possessed of goods or an estate; moderately wealthy; responsible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or of the nature of substance; being a substance; real; actually existing; true; actual; not seeming or imaginary; not illusive.
  • Having essential value; genuine; sound; sterling.
  • Having firm or good material; strong; stout; solid: as, substantial cloth.
  • Possessed of considerable substance, goods, or estate; moderately wealthy; well-to-do.
  • Real or true in the main or for the most part: as, substantial success.
  • Of considerable amount: as, a substantial gift; substantial profit.
  • Capable of being substantiated or proved.
  • Vital; important.
  • In law, pertaining to or involving the merits or essential right, in contradistinction to questions of form or manner.
  • Pertaining to the substance or tissue of any part or organ.
  • n. That which has a real existence; that which has substance.
  • n. That which has real practical value.
  • n. An essential part.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having substance or capable of being treated as fact; not imaginary
  • adj. fairly large
  • adj. of good quality and condition; solidly built
  • adj. having a firm basis in reality and being therefore important, meaningful, or considerable
  • adj. providing abundant nourishment


Middle English substancial, from Old French substantiel, from Latin substanti─ülis, from substantia, substance; see substance.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French substantiel. (Wiktionary)


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  • As a practical matter, the term substantial compliance means just that; complying with the minimum standards as required by SORNA.

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  • You know, Director Mueller says that he has what he calls substantial concerns about a possible terror attack, even though he says there's no specific intelligence suggesting that any attack on the U.S. is imminent.

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  • ARENA: Now as for the overall threat environment, Mueller says there isn't any intelligence suggesting that any attack against the United States is imminent but he says he does have what he called substantial concerns.

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  • But the report says Tehran is making what it terms substantial progress in revealing the nature and extent of its nuclear program.

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  • So, presumably, they did have the capability, because they have been -- been looking, I guess, what they called a substantial amount of time.

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  • From the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. pg. 55
    "Then I stuff down every mouthful I can hold, which is a substantial amount, being careful to not overdo it on the richest stuff."

    November 29, 2010