"one who acts in place of another," early 15c., from Old French substitut (noun use) and directly from Latin substitutus, past participle of substituere "put in place of another" (see substitution). Military draft sense is from 1777, American English. Team sports sense is from 1849. Of foodstuffs, from 1879. As an adjective from early 15c.
"submarine boat," 1899, from submarine (adj.), perhaps short for earlier submarine vessel (1732), etc. Earlier "a creature living under the sea" (1703). The short form sub is attested from 1917. As a type of sandwich from 1955, so called from the shape of the roll. Related: Submariner.
D. Harper. “Etymology of sub.” Online Etymology Dictionary. https://www.etymonline.com/word/sub (accessed $(datetime)).
updated on December 19, 2013
Definitions of sub from WordNet
a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States;