The noun substitution refers to the act of replacing one thing with another. Your football coach might make a substitution by sending you onto the field to take over for a player who is tired or injured.

Substitution comes from the Middle French word of the same spelling, meaning "a putting in place of another." You might notice that substitution contains the root word substitute, and that's a good way to remember the meaning of the word. In school, a substitute is a temporary teacher who fills in when your regular teacher is out — in other words, a substitution has been made until your teacher returns.

Definitions of substitution

n the act of putting one thing or person in the place of another: "he sent Smith in for Jones but the substitution came too late to help"

commutation, exchange
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replacement, replacing
the act of furnishing an equivalent person or thing in the place of another
(law) the act of substituting of one creditor for another
ablactation, weaning
the act of substituting other food for the mother's milk in the diet of a child or young mammal
(law) the replacement of one obligation by another by mutual agreement of both parties; usually the replacement of one of the original parties to a contract with the consent of the remaining party
pitching change
replacing a pitcher in baseball
supersedure, supersession
act of replacing one person or thing by another especially one held to be superior
displacement, supplanting
act of taking the place of another especially using underhanded tactics
Type of:
the action of changing something

n an event in which one thing is substituted for another

permutation, replacement, switch, transposition
Type of:
fluctuation, variation
an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change

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