substitute for

Also found in: Legal.

substitute for (someone or something)

1. To act as a substitute for someone or something. I'm substituting for Eric for the next few days while he recovers in the hospital. Don't believe anyone who tries to convince you that low-fat cooking sprays can substitute for real butter or olive oil and not taste any different.
2. To use, employ, or instruct someone or something to act as a substitute for someone or something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sub" and "for." With a healthy 30-point lead, the coach substituted the rookie for the star quarter back to give him some experience on the field. Let's try substituting an AC motor for the DC one we've been using and see if that improves the results.
See also: substitute

substitute someone for (someone else)

 and substitute something for something else
to exchange someone or something for someone or something else; to replace someone or something with someone or something else. Shall I substitute Fred for Mary in the front office? Please substitute fish for beef on my dinner order.
See also: substitute

substitute for someone or something

to serve as a replacement for someone or something. I have to substitute for Roger at work this weekend. Do you think that this will substitute for the one you wanted?
See also: substitute
References in periodicals archive ?
Veggie-burgers run the gamut from those which truly substitute for the taste, texture and appearance of beef to patties whose only hamburger-like trait is the ability to fit nicely on a bun.
Yet, there are still some suppliers and users who argue that while cadmium-free alternatives can come close, there's just no substitute for cadmium colorants in certain applications and in certain resin systems.
Where a cadmium pigment might cost about 10/lb, an organic substitute for that pigment could range from $16-$30/lb.
The feat may help scientists create an inexpensive, disease-free substitute for human blood, say researchers at DNX Corp.
In short, LeFevre says, "We do not have materials today that we could substitute for asbestos linings that would allow us to build vehicles that meet the brake standards in place" -- though "we ought to be able to do it within 10 [years].