late 14c., "component substance, matter from which a thing is made," from material (adj.).
in grammatical use, late 14c., short for noun substantive, from Late Latin substantivium, neuter of substantivus "of substance or being" (see substantive (adj.)). Latin nomen substantivum was "name or word of substance."
"detergent substance," 1670s, from detergent (adj.). Originally a medical term; application to "chemical cleansing product" is by 1932.
"substance which produces nausea," 1834, from Latin nauseant-, present-participle stem of nauseare (see nauseate (v.)).