Simple Definition of equity
: fairness or justice in the way people are treated
finance : the value of a piece of property (such as a house) after any debts that remain to be paid for it (such as the amount of a mortgage) have been subtracted
: a share in a company : a share of a company's stock
Full Definition of equityplural
1 a : justice according to natural law or right; specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism b : something that is equitable
2 a : a system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of legal and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statute law and are designed to protect rights and enforce duties fixed by substantive law b : trial or remedial justice under or by the rules and doctrines of equity c : a body of legal doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override a narrow rigid system of law
3 a : a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity b : the money value of a property or of an interest in a property in excess of claims or liens against it c : a risk interest or ownership right in property d : the common stock of a corporation
Examples of equity in a sentence
In making these decisions we should be governed by the principle of equity.
We've been slowly paying off our mortgage and building up equity in our house.
Origin and Etymology of equity
Middle English equite, from Anglo-French equité, from Latin aequitat-, aequitas, from aequus equal, fair
First Known Use: 14th century
Legal Definition of equity
1a : justice according to fairness especially as distinguished from mechanical application of rules <prompted by considerations of equity> <comity between nations, and equity require it to be paid for — F. A. Magruder> b : something that is equitable : an instance of equity <the inequities produced by the system are outnumbered by the equities>
2a : a system of law originating in the English chancery and comprising a settled and formal body of substantive and procedural rules and doctrines that supplement, aid, or override common and statutory law <the judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution — U.S. Constitution art. III> — see also chancery — compare common law, law Editor's note: The courts of equity arose in England from a need to provide relief for claims that did not conform to the writ system existing in the courts of law. Originally, the courts of equity exercised great discretion in fashioning remedies. Over time, they established precedents, rules, and doctrines of their own that were distinct from those used in the courts of law. Although for a time the courts of equity rivaled the law courts in power, the law courts maintained an advantage partly as a result of forcing the equity courts to hear only those cases for which there was no adequate remedy at law. The courts of law and equity were united in England in 1873. Courts of equity also developed in the United States, but in most states and in the federal system courts of law and courts of equity have been joined. The courts apply both legal and equitable principles and offer both legal and equitable relief, although generally equitable relief is still granted when there is no adequate remedy at law. b : the principles that developed in the courts of equity : justice in accordance with equity <equity treats a devisee who procures a will by fraud as a constructive trustee — W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.>; also : justice in accordance with natural law c : a court of equity <sat alone for some time in equity — O. W. Holmes, Jr.>
3 : a body of doctrines and rules developed to enlarge, supplement, or override any narrow or rigid system of law
4a : a right, claim, or interest existing or valid in equity b : the money value of a property or of an interest in property in excess of any claims or liens (as mortgage indebtedness) against it c : a risk interest or ownership right in property; specifically : the ownership interests of shareholders in a company d : the common stock of a corporation — compare asset, debt
Origin and Etymology of equity
Latin aequitat- aequitas fairness, justice, from aequus equal, fair
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up equity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).