take the place of (someone or something)

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take the place of (someone or something)

To substitute for someone or something; to stand in someone's or something's stead. It was decided that I would take the place of my sister as the head of the company. Tofu can easily take the place of chicken in this dish.
See also: of, place, take
References in classic literature ?
If I were only like so many others and had studied and worked and stayed with my poor old father, I should not find myself here now, in this field and in the darkness, taking the place of a farmer's watchdog.