- 2 a new chairman was brought in to replace himtake the place of, succeed, be a replacement for, take over from, supersede, follow after, come after; supplant, oust; stand in for, substitute for, act as stand-in for, deputize for, act for, stand in lieu of, fill in for, cover for, relieve, act as locum for, understudy; step into the breach, hold the fort
- 3 she took away his empty cereal bowl and replaced it with a plate piled high with toastsubstitute, exchange, change; give in place of, give as a replacement for, give in return/exchange for, swap for
Choose the right word
replace, supersede, supplant
All three words are used when one person or thing takes the place of another, but each has different connotations.Replace is the most neutral term. One person or thing may replace another as part of a normal process ( the interim government was replaced by an elected one ) or in an emergency ( Heslop replaces Underwood, who has a broken jaw ).Something that has been superseded has had its place taken by something more up to date or otherwise preferable ( the older mainframes are being superseded by more powerful, more compact systems ); the emphasis is on the fact of being replaced rather than on the new person or thing, since the word is typically used in the passive, and it is common not to mention the replacement ( current models may be superseded in due course ).There is emphasis on the person or thing that supplants another, as they are mentioned more often than with supersede or replace, and supplant is normally used in the active ( another invention or discovery could supplant the original finding ). There may be a sense of injustice if the new person or thing is seen as a poor substitute ( vast, impersonal motorways supplanted the agreeably irregular network of real roads ).