substitute - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    something that is used instead of something else

    We couldn’t get cream, so we used yoghurt as a substitute.

    a milk/sugar/meat substitute

    substitute for:

    a synthetic substitute for rubber

    1. a.
      [only before noun] used as a substitute

      a substitute form of energy

    2. b.
      something that people accept instead of something else, even though they know that it is not as good or as useful

      Rituals and superstitions may become a substitute for a religious life.

      a poor/inadequate substitute:

      Of course a pet is a poor substitute for human companionship.

      be no substitute for something (=to not be as good):

      Feeling sorry for someone is no substitute for love.