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Essence; the material or necessary component of something.

A matter of substance, as distinguished from a matter of form, with respect to pleadings, affidavits, indictments, and other legal instruments, entails the essential sufficiency, validity, or merits of the instrument, as opposed to its method or style.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

SUBSTANCE, evidence. That which is essential; it is used in opposition to form.
     2. It is a general rule, that on any issue it is sufficient to prove the substance of the issue. For example, in a case where the defendant pleaded payment of the principal sum and all interest due, and it appeared in evidence that a gross sum was paid, not amounting to the full interest, but accepted by the plaintiff as full payment, the proof was held to be sufficient. 2 Str. 690; 1 Phil. Ev. 161.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Comparative observation of the free nitrite ion value and the hydration products shows that when fly ash and slag are added into the reinforced concrete structures at the same time, the change of the free nitrite ion concentration in structures is influenced by the oxidation and the adsorption of the gelatinous substances. Both methods of solidifying the free nitrite ion have a great influence on the concentration of the effective anticorrosion component.
Under a sterile hood, the insides gelatinous substance was cut off from the external shield and triturated in order to achieve a homogenous gel.
However, the samples with heparin were seen to transform into a gelatinous substance after 2 h; hence, FCM analysis could not be performed.
Agar is a gelatinous substance derived from red algae.
Resection revealed that the cysts were filled with a thick gelatinous substance (figure 2, B).
Agar is a gelatinous substance used as a culture for microbiological work.
And when this gelatinous substance changes, it becomes the instrument through which the faculty of vision perceives, this faculty recognizes the reaction that occurs and that is how vision becomes possible.