substrate

A substrate is the base layer of something, or a layer that's underneath another layer. It can also be a surface on which an organism grows or is attached.

Substrate also has a linguistic meaning: It's an indigenous language that contributes words or parts of speech to the language of an invading people who have imposed their language on the indigenous people. Throughout the United States, for instance, there are towns with Native American names, because Native American languages form a substrate to American English.

Definitions of substrate
1

n the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment

Type of:
substance
the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists

n a surface on which an organism grows or is attached

“the gardener talked about the proper substrate for acid-loving plants”
Synonyms:
substratum
Type of:
surface
the extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object

n any stratum or layer lying underneath another

Synonyms:
substratum
Type of:
stratum
one of several parallel layers of material arranged one on top of another (such as a layer of tissue or cells in an organism or a layer of sedimentary rock)

n an indigenous language that contributes features to the language of an invading people who impose their language on the indigenous population

“the Celtic languages of Britain are a substrate for English”
Synonyms:
substratum
Type of:
indigenous language
a language that originated in a specified place and was not brought to that place from elsewhere

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