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Middle English substitucion, from Middle French, from Late Latin substitution-, substitutio, from substituere


  • 1:a. The putting of one person or thing in place of another.

b: With reference to the principle in religious sacrifices of replacing one kind of victim by another or a bloody by an unbloody offering.

b. The operation of passing from the primitive arrangement of n letters to any other arrangement of the same letters.
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In mathematics, substitution of variables (also called variable substitution or coordinate transformation) refers to the substitution of certain variables with other variables. Though the study of how variable substitutions affect a certain problem can be interesting in itself, they are often used when solving mathematical or physical problems, as the correct substitution may greatly simplify a problem which is hard to solve in the original variables. Under certain conditions the solution to the original problem can be recovered by back-substitution (inverting the substitution).