dictionary definition of
reflects a mere shadow of the
which our consciousness experiences, the definition is a good starting point. Following the definition is a list of synonyms which gives a broader sense of the
The Homeless Mathematician
notes the use of
in the third alternative definition. This should be considered a categorical mistake and reflects the historical lack of
in the distinction between
Form and Substance.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin substantia, from substāns, substant-, present participle of substāre, to be present : sub-, sub- + stāre, to stand.]
- a. That which has mass and occupies space; matter. b. A material of a particular kind or constitution.
- a. Essential nature; essence. b. Gist; heart.
- That which is solid and practical in character, quality, or importance: a plan without substance.
- Density; body: Air has little substance.
- Material possessions; goods; wealth: a person of substance.
Synonyms: substance, burden, core, gist, pith, purport.
The central meaning shared by these nouns is "the essential import or significance of something spoken or written":
- the substance of her complaint;
- the burden of the President's speech;
- the core of an article;
- the gist of the prosecutor's argument;
- the pith and marrow of an essay;
- the purport of a document.
Copyright © 1995.
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