replace

Is your pen not working? Maybe you need to replace it. To replace is to substitute one thing for another — in this case, to get a new pen and throw the old one away.

When you see the word place in it, replace makes sense: replacing is putting something new in place of something old. We need to replace most things at some point: light bulbs burn out and batteries run out, while computers, cars, and socks wear out. When something stops working or is just worn out and old, it might be time to replace it. It's natural to worry that your boss might want to replace you — i.e., fire you and hire someone else. Some things in life cannot be replaced, like a winning lottery ticket or a friend.

Definitions of replace
1

v put something back where it belongs

replace the book on the shelf after you have finished reading it”
Synonyms:
put back
supercede, supersede, supervene upon, supplant
take the place or move into the position of
Types:
hang up
put a telephone receiver back in its cradle
Type of:
lay, place, pose, position, put, set
put into a certain place or abstract location

v put in the place of another; switch seemingly equivalent items

“the con artist replaced the original with a fake Rembrandt”
Synonyms:
exchange, interchange, substitute
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
shift
move and exchange for another
reduce
simplify the form of a mathematical equation of expression by substituting one term for another
truncate
replace a corner by a plane
retool
provide (a workshop or factory) with new tools
subrogate
substitute one creditor for another, as in the case where an insurance company sues the person who caused an accident for the insured
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v take the place or move into the position of

“Smith replaced Miller as CEO after Miller left”
“Mary replaced Susan as the team's captain and the highest-ranked player in the school”
Synonyms:
supercede, supersede, supervene upon, supplant
put back
put something back where it belongs
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
deputise, deputize, step in, substitute
act as a substitute
displace, preempt
take the place of or have precedence over
usurp
take the place of
oust
remove and replace
cover
help out by taking someone's place and temporarily assuming his responsibilities
Type of:
come after, follow, succeed
be the successor (of)

v substitute a person or thing for (another that is broken or inefficient or lost or no longer working or yielding what is expected)

“He replaced the old razor blade”
“We need to replace the secretary that left a month ago”
“the insurance will replace the lost income”
“This antique vase can never be replaced
Synonyms:
supercede, supersede, supervene upon, supplant
take the place or move into the position of
Types:
show 8 types...
hide 8 types...
change, commute, convert, exchange
exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
change
remove or replace the coverings of
novate
replace with something new, especially an old obligation by a new one
rectify
convert into direct current
utilize
convert (from an investment trust to a unit trust)
capitalise, capitalize
convert (a company's reserve funds) into capital
launder
convert illegally obtained funds into legal ones
break
exchange for smaller units of money
Type of:
regenerate, renew
reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.