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in substance

1. Concerning or related to the essential elements; fundamentally or substantially. In substance, the proposed bill would reduce the amount of calories in meals served at school cafeterias, though the details of how this would be implemented aren't yet clear.
2. Actually; in reality. I was promoted to a managerial role in the restaurant, but in substance, I'm just a shift supervisor.
See also: substance

take the shadow for the substance

dated To accept something false, deceitful, shallow, or insubstantial in place of something true, meaningful, or valuable. (Said especially in religious lectures or sermons about shunning or being led away from faith or the dictates of the church.) In today's modern, materialistic world, it is all too easy to take the shadow for the substance.
See also: shadow, substance, take

controlled substance

A drug whose availability is limited by law. A: "I thought you could just find your medication on the shelf at the pharmacy." B: "Nah, I'm on a new one, and it's a controlled substance, so I have a prescription for it." I'm really glad I didn't follow in my brother's footsteps and become addicted to controlled substances.
See also: control, substance

a (person) of substance

Someone who has a lot of power, money, or influence. I think my parents were disappointed that I chose not to marry a woman of substance, but they seem to have gotten over it. Despite being a humble shop owner, his interactions with every person of the community has made him a person of substance in the eyes of the people here.
See also: of, substance

the sum and substance

The central or most important idea, aspect, or part of something; the essence or summary of something. We don't have much time for this board meeting, so let's just get to the sum and substance straight away. The sum and substance of her argument is that a redistribution of wealth would spur the economy into huge gains.
See also: and, substance, sum

form and substance

structure and meaningful content. The first act of the play was one screaming match after another. It lacked form and substance throughout. Jane's report was good. The teacher commented on the excellent form and substance of the paper.
See also: and, form, substance

sum and substance

a summary; the gist. Can you quickly tell me the sum and substance of your proposal? In trying to explain the sum and substance of the essay, Thomas failed to mention the middle name of the hero.
See also: and, substance, sum

in substance

1. In reality, essentially, as in The Archbishop of Salzburg was in substance a temporal authority as well. [Late 1300s]
2. In essence, basically, as in I don't remember all the details, but in substance this was the plan. [Late 1400s]
See also: substance

sum and substance

The essence or gist of something, as in The sum and substance of their platform is financial conservatism. This redundant expression-both sum and substance here mean "essence"-has probably survived owing to alliteration. Shakespeare used it in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (4:1): "My riches are these poor habiliments [clothes], Of which if you should here disfurnish me, You take the sum and substance that I have."
See also: and, substance, sum

a woman, man, person, etc. of ˈsubstance

(formal) a person who is important, powerful or rich: In those days, a station master was a man of substance in the community.
See also: of, substance
References in periodicals archive ?
A Methodology Manual (1) was developed with the purpose of providing a documented methodology for “making decisions about inclusion of substances in ANNEX II based on scientific evidence and taking into account principles established under REACH.
The young generation is most at risk: a 2011 Eurobarometer on "Youth attitudes on drugs" shows that on average 5% of young people in the EU have used such substances at least once in their life, with a peak of 16% in Ireland, and close to 10% in Poland, Latvia and the UK.
The first is Framework Directive 2000/60/EC on water, which lists priority substances with a high risk either for the aquatic environment or, through water, for the environment and for human health (Article 16).
A substance is that which can persist through change (entities other than substances can undergo change).
Research also suggests that post traumatic stress may make it more difficult for adolescents and young adults to stop using substances.
More substances are expected be added to the list by the European Chemicals Agency (echa.
Substance dependence is defined by physiologic and behavioral symptoms, and substance abuse is described in terms of adverse social consequences of substance use.
The preparation of environmental emergency plans can be required for substances that have been assessed to be "toxic" under section 64 of CEPA 1999 and are on the "List of Toxic Substances" or are recoinmended for addition to that list as outlined under section 199 of Part 8.
All students caught with banned substances are suspended for at least five days.
Recent information about the nonmedical use of prescription drugs, misuse of some over-the-counter drugs, and the use of club drugs (drugs such as Ecstasy and methamphetamine that are closely tied to the all-night dance club scene) heightens the need for school counselors to familiarize themselves with these substances, in addition to the more commonly abused substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (Monitoring the Future, 2005).
Orexo applies its broad expertise in medicine and pharmacy to the further development of existing pharmaceutical substances.
There is a striking resemblance between the symptoms and responses to substances reported by chemically intolerant patients and individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol.
A preparation is a physical mixture of individual substances or a number of substances and carrier materials.
This unit, to be released at the end of September 2005, conforms to European RoHS directive(*1) (EU Directive on the Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment) for the U.