Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Recently I came across the word substantional.

What's its definition, and how can it be used in a sentence? Are there any common synonyms? Where did this word come from?

I suspect it's related to substantial, but it's not entirely clear.

This was used in a context looking for reference back to an authority of some kind, but I'm unsure if this is relevant.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Most uses of substantional seems to be misspellings of substantial. The example that you linked to most definitely is.

The word does however have a meaning in itself. A substantion is the same as a noun, so substantional means of noun, just as substantial means of substance. It's used for example in the term substantional linguistics.

share|improve this answer

According to many dictionaries, there's no such word.

In fact it can be an adjective formed from to substantion, which is apparently a synonym for substantive (and also a place name), but this is very rare (and technical).

In the post you link to, this is almost certainly an error for substantial, as are many of the references to this word on the internet.

share|improve this answer
    
'According to many dictionaries, there's no such word.' is misleading. Even OED claims to list less than 50% of 'English words', and has stated that a candidate word's not being listed is no proof that it is not a word. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 13 at 9:01
    
@EdwinAshworth: Not sure what you're getting at? Of course absence of a candidate word from dictionaries is no proof that it's not a "real word", hence why I say the word in question is a word in my second sentence! –  psmears Apr 13 at 9:22
    
'According to many dictionaries, there's no such word.' I've only ever seen one example of a dictionary saying 'mirbane: apparently a meaningless word', and none saying anything like 'hsrraewv: there's no such word'. No dictionary has ever claimed 'if it's not in here, there's no such word'. But you do. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 13 at 9:42

The word is used infrequently and does appear to be a valid word, however the usage you cite is probably a misuse, intended to be "substantial" or "substantiating". The best contextual definition I can come up with is (adj.) - giving substance to, related to "substantiate" (v.) - to give substance to, and contrasting "substantial" (adj.) - having substance. It also can be used as "having to do with nouns", as "substantion" is defined as (n.) - a noun.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.