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unsubstantial

[uhn-suh b-stan-shuh l] /ˌʌn səbˈstæn ʃəl/
adjective
1.
not substantial; having no foundation in fact; fanciful; insubstantial:
an unsubstantial argument; unsubstantial hopes.
2.
without material substance:
an unsubstantial ghost.
3.
lacking material substance; materially paltry:
an unsubstantial dinner of bread and cheese.
4.
lacking strength or solidity; flimsy:
an unsubstantial wall of cardboard.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English; see un-1, substantial
Related forms
unsubstantiality, noun
unsubstantially, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for unsubstantial
  • The unsubstantial belief of his day was ether, or more precisely the naïve version of ether that preceded relativity.
  • There has always been something unsubstantial about his work.
  • But suddenly the unsubstantial aspects of it overwhelm him completely.
  • It is as shallow and unsubstantial as a pie-plate without any pie.
  • The theories, according to the author, are rather unsubstantial at present.
  • The organization was denied registration on what observers believed to be unsubstantial grounds.
  • But the model was made of piaster, which is unsubstantial and fleeting.
British Dictionary definitions for unsubstantial

unsubstantial

/ˌʌnsəbˈstænʃəl/
adjective
1.
lacking weight, strength, or firmness
2.
(esp of an argument) of doubtful validity
3.
of no material existence or substance; unreal
Derived Forms
unsubstantiality, noun
unsubstantially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unsubstantial
adj.

mid-15c., from un- (1) "not" + substantial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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