in substance

Idioms & Phrases

in substance

  1. In reality, essentially, as in The Archbishop of Salzburg was in substance a temporal authority as well. [Late 1300s]

  2. In essence, basically, as in I don't remember all the details, but in substance this was the plan. [Late 1400s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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