c.1300, "essential nature," from O.Fr. substance (12c.), from L. substantia "being, essence, material,"
from substans, prp. of substare "stand firm, be under or present," from sub "up to, under" + stare "to stand,"
from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet).
A loan-translation of Gk. hypostasis. Meaning "any kind of corporeal matter" is first attested mid-14c. Sense of "the matter of a study, discourse, etc." first recorded late 14c.