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verb substitute pronunciation in British English /ˈsʌbstɪˌtjuːt/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesubstituting
past tensesubstituted
past participlesubstituted
  1. 1
    [transitive] to use something new or different instead of what is normally used

    Instead of using silicon, they have substituted a more flexible material.

    substitute something for something:

    You can substitute chicken for beef if you don't like red meat.

    The objective is to substitute real democratic politics for conflict and violence.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to remove one thing and put something else in its place

    She suggested that we take out the word 'demand' and substitute 'request'.

    substitute something for something:

    Police investigators substituted Palmer's bag for a similar one, then followed him to his hideout.

    substitute something with something:

    Owing to the high insurance costs, the original painting has been substituted with a copy.

    1. a.
      [often passive] to replace a member of a sports team with another player during a game

      He limped off with an injured ankle and was substituted by Tucker.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to do someone else's job for a short period of time
    substitute for:

    Mark will substitute for me tomorrow.

derived word




a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

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