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.

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.


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.

  • '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. Apr 13, 2015 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, 2015 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. Apr 13, 2015 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.

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