V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. important, serious, or related to real facts; 2. a large quantity; 3. being the essence or essential element of something; 4. having practical importance or value; 5. in grammar, relating to or used like a noun

Synonyms: substantial, firm, tangible, concrete, permanent, material, essential, enduring

Antonyms: unsubstantial, unessential, fleeting

Tips: Substantive is derived from the Middle French substantif, "having or expressing substance." Having major substance or quantity is the common meaning of substantive. If something has substance, it is real, it's serious, it's legitimate--it's substantive. In business, substantive is used to discuss a productive meeting or a meeting with substance that covered important issues: "It was a substantive meeting--we finalized next year's marketing budget." In law, substantive refers to the essential principals of a court's work.

Usage Examples:

In order to test the effectiveness of a new drug, substantive research is needed to prove both the drug's efficacy and its safety. (substantial, real, serious)

We had a substantive discussion on the benefits of the new company policy, and everyone left with a better understanding of the issues. (concrete)

You can't put a price tag on the substantive value of a good education. (enduring)

The company’s substantive policy on sexual harassment is not taken lightly. (firm, concrete)

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