Etymology
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substrate (n.)

1810, from Modern Latin substratum, noun use of neuter singular past participle of Latin substernere "to spread underneath," from sub "under, below, beneath" (see sub-) + sternere "to spread out, lay down, stretch out," from nasalized form of PIE root *stere- "to spread."

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Definitions of substrate

substrate (n.)
the substance that is acted upon by an enzyme or ferment;
substrate (n.)
a surface on which an organism grows or is attached;
the gardener talked about the proper substrate for acid-loving plants
Synonyms: substratum
substrate (n.)
any stratum or layer lying underneath another;
Synonyms: substratum
substrate (n.)
an indigenous language that contributes features to the language of an invading people who impose their language on the indigenous population;
the Celtic languages of Britain are a substrate for English
Synonyms: substratum
From wordnet.princeton.edu