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substance   WordNet 2.0

- that which has mass and occupies space
"an atom is the smallest indivisible unit of matter"

 
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- the idea that is intended
"What is the meaning of this proverb?"

 
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- 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"

 
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- what a communication that is about something is about

 
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- considerable capital (wealth or income)
"he is a man of means"

 
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- the stuff of which an object consists

 
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Substance   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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 substance.

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.

 
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1. To furnish or endow with substance; to supply property to; to make rich. [Obs.]

 
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