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Substance

Although the formal dictionary definition of Substance reflects a mere shadow of the Substance 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 Substance of Substance .

The Homeless Mathematician notes the use of Quality in the third alternative definition. This should be considered a categorical mistake and reflects the historical lack of clarification in the distinction between Form and Substance.

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Substance

noun

  1. a. That which has mass and occupies space; matter. b. A material of a particular kind or constitution.
  2. a. Essential nature; essence. b. Gist; heart.
  3. That which is solid and practical in character, quality, or importance: a plan without substance.
  4. Density; body: Air has little substance.
  5. Material possessions; goods; wealth: a person of substance.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin substantia, from subst?ns, substant-, present participle of subst?re, to be present : sub-, sub- + st?re, to stand.]


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":

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Updated 95/11/04.