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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 ?
At the same time, the density of the neuroglia in the white substance of the brain is not significantly altered.
"The footage already existed of them filming with this milky, glue-like, white substance, and it struck me as a fantastic juxtaposition to the dirty, dusty Wild West.
A picture with evidence bags was also tweeted showing a medicine type bottle and a white substance, which were recovered from the property.
Dear Diarmuid, Our viburnum and hydrangea have become infested with a white substance under the leaves (right).
According to the Crime Lab report, the white substance seized in the case was cocaine and it weighed 9.5 grams.
In the living room on a table they found a set of scales which bore traces of a white substance suggesting that was where the deals were prepared.
The Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water worked together yesterday to remove a white substance from the River Ouseburn which had been dumped overnight.
A bag containing a suspicious white substance was dropped out the window of one of the cars.
Police searched an industrial unit in Barmston, Washington, on Friday, July 26 and discovered pills and a white substance hidden in a metal container.
Many were caked in a white substance, which it has been suggested indicates napalm or thermite.
SUSPICIOUS: Bags of white substance BORED: Rachid Saaida YOU SNOOZER: Star is sparko and, inset, bag with cannabis leaf motif