Middle English Dictionary Entry

substanciāl adj.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Chiefly phil. or theol. (a) Pertaining to the very nature of a thing, essential; ~ forme, forme ~, the principle of existence in a substance and the source of all that is essential to that substance; (b) derived from the essence of a thing; (c) existing independently as a substance; (d) ?error for, or ?shortening of, supersubstancial surpassing substance, transcendent [cp. from the same texts supersubstancialli adv. (Treat.Perf.); and supersubstancial adj. and (332/274) "aboue the substancial heuene" (GLeg.Ascension), as well as the confused readings at 331/249.]
(a) Of solid material, firm, hard; sturdy, strong; also, large; also, thick, viscous [last quot.]; (b) of solid worth or value; worthy, reliable; well-established, effective, sound; not easily contradicted or contravened; also, authoritative; (c) ?as adv.: in importance or significance.
(a) Anat. Derived from or pertaining to the substance of the body or a bodily part; also, med. capable of modifying the substance of the body or a bodily part [quots. ?a1425, 2nd & 3rd]; (b) nourishing, nutritive.
Having tangible wealth, propertied; wealthy; also, of income: derived from property; of wealth: tangible.
(a) Ample, sufficient; (b) as adv.: deeply, fully.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1525 BodEMus.52 Artist.Recipes (BodEMus 52) 192/23 : Þu schalt with a pensell made of squyrels taylis ley uppon þi syce a parte substanciall, þen abyde an hour to sesone drye, and when þi syce is drye, wete yt lyȝtlye with þi spetell, and..engrose it with a scharpe penneknyfffe.
  • Note: Clarke suggests 'solid, thick (of something more commonly fluid)'.
    Note: ?Additional quote, sense 3.(a), or ?perh. 6.(a) or (b). See similar suppl. quot. under MED substancialli adv.