Definition of substrate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsʌbstreɪt/


1An underlying substance or layer.
Example sentences
  • Where volcanic material has been extruded on to a soft substrate, the rate of erosion of the substrate can exceed that of the lava flow.
  • Also, special designs of roadbed through wetlands in permafrost terrain are required to protect the thermal regime in the underlying substrates.
  • Cameron found Vermiforichnus clarkei in many substrates from Ordovician to Holocene ages.
1.1The surface or material on or from which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment: brachiopods attached to the substrate by a stalk
More example sentences
  • The premature growth arrest of breast and skin epithelial cells grown on plastic substrates may be due to an inadequate culture environment.
  • In the first type, plants grow on a soil substrate that has a relatively high chance of being covered with leaf litter.
  • A lichen may absorb certain mineral nutrients from any of these substrates on which it grows, but is generally self-reliant in feeding itself through photosynthesis in the algal cells.
1.2The substance on which an enzyme acts.
Example sentences
  • Another approach would be to increase the cellular level of enzyme substrates such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
  • Enzymes that act on substrates such as polypeptides, nucleic acids, oligosaccharides, or lipid membranes often interact with more than one substrate molecule.
  • Type O is a nonfunctional allele, because it does not recognize the enzyme substrate.
1.3A material which provides the surface on which something is deposited or inscribed, for example the silicon wafer used to manufacture integrated circuits: optical disk substrates
More example sentences
  • Only on very smooth substrates like polished silicon wafers, can the thickness of deposited wax layers be measured exactly.
  • A trench is etched in a surface of the integrated circuit substrate such that a tip is formed.
  • A liquid-crystal panel comprises a pair of transparent glass substrates each being provided with an electrode.


Early 19th century: anglicized form of substratum.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sub|strate

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.