- (grammar) A word that names or refers to a person, place, thing, or idea. noun, Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, present participles, determiners, and numerals may all function as substantives in English and many other languages.
Etymology: From substantif.
- Of the essence or essential element of a thing; as, "substantive information".
- Having substance and prompting thought.
- Applying to essential legal principles and rules of right; as, "substantive law".
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Full Definition of substantive