Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “substitute”


verb     /ˈsʌbstɪtjuːt/
B2 [T] to use someone or something instead of another person or thing: You can substitute pasta for the rice , if you prefer .Replacing and exchanging
substitute for sb to do someone's job because they are not there: I'm substituting for her while she's on holiday .Replacing and exchanging
substitution     /ˌsʌbstɪˈtjuːʃən/ noun [C, U]
(Definition of substitute verb from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

More Learner's Dictionary definitions for “substitute”

Definitions of “substitute” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

prenuptial agreement

an official document signed by two people before they get married that says what will happen to their possessions and/or children if they divorce (= officially stop being married)

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More