equa·​nim·​i·​ty | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈni-mə-tē How to pronounce equanimity (audio) , ˌe-kwə-\
plural equanimities

Definition of equanimity

1 : evenness of mind especially under stress nothing could disturb his equanimity
2 : right disposition : balance physical equanimity

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Choose the Right Synonym for equanimity

equanimity, composure, sangfroid mean evenness of mind under stress. equanimity suggests a habit of mind that is only rarely disturbed under great strain. accepted her troubles with equanimity composure implies the controlling of emotional or mental agitation by an effort of will or as a matter of habit. maintaining his composure even under hostile questioning sangfroid implies great coolness and steadiness under strain. handled the situation with professional sangfroid

Keep Things Balanced With the Definition of Equanimity

If you think "equanimity" looks like it has something to do with "equal," you've guessed correctly. Both "equanimity" and "equal" are derived from "aequus," a Latin adjective meaning "level" or "equal." "Equanimity" comes from the combination of "aequus" and "animus" ("soul" or "mind") in the Latin phrase aequo animo, which means "with even mind." English speakers began using "equanimity" early in the 17th century with the now obsolete sense "fairness or justness of judgment," which was in keeping with the meaning of the Latin phrase. Equanimity quickly came to suggest keeping a cool head under any sort of pressure, not merely when presented with a problem, and eventually, it developed an extended sense for general balance and harmony.

Examples of equanimity in a Sentence

Those who are doomed to become artists are seldom blessed with equanimity. They are tossed to drunken heights, only to be brought down into a sludge of headachy despair; their arrogance gives way to humiliation at the next curve of the switchback. — Patrick White, Flaws in the Glass, (1981) 1983 She's heading straight for us—he thought.  … And his uneasiness grew by the recollection of the forty tons of dynamite in the body of the Ferndale; not the sort of cargo one thinks of with equanimity in connexion with a threatened collision. — Joseph Conrad, Chance, (1913) 1924 an Olympic diver who always displays remarkable equanimity on the platform
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Recent Examples on the Web

King David appears to exhibit an almost superhuman equanimity in the face of the death of his son, whose life was taken by a wrathful and vengeful God — and David’s first act after the killing of his son is to go to worship the killer. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Judge, if You Must, but Curb the Glee: Notes from Las Vegas," 18 July 2019 His friend, the painter Katia Santibañez, looks at us with intense equanimity as her husband, the painter James Siena, handles a luminous cantaloupe. Matthew Klam, The New Yorker, "The Weird, Violent, Uplifting Paintings of Mark Greenwold," 26 June 2019 Stand up for yourself while retaining your inner equanimity. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 29, 2019: Taurus, could be an uphill battle to gain someone’s confidence; Cancer, don’t assume," 29 June 2019 The picture painted is one of a man grasping for equanimity, still wrestling to find peace with a life lived recklessly and unapologetically. Thomas Page, CNN, "Sex, drugs and soccer: Diego Maradona film shines light on Napoli years," 12 June 2019 Assuming current trends continue, will America accept its relative decline with equanimity? Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 His equanimity and empathy does not extend to the rest of his colleagues, who quickly set up a sniper to take her out. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Bodyguard Is the Best Political Thriller Since Homeland," 24 Oct. 2018 Even as Amazon and local rival Flipkart push into groceries, Bigbasket’s founders profess equanimity. Bloomberg.com, "How Dotcom Survivors Built a $950 Million Startup in India," 19 Mar. 2018 While reviling property taxes is a longstanding Pennsylvania tradition, some property owners are accepting the increases with equanimity. Meghan Bobrowsky, Philly.com, "Homeowners may hate them, however property taxes aren't going anywhere … but up," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equanimity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of equanimity

circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for equanimity

Latin aequanimitas, from aequo animo with even mind

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Statistics for equanimity

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for equanimity

The first known use of equanimity was circa 1616

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English Language Learners Definition of equanimity

formal : calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure

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Comments on equanimity

What made you want to look up equanimity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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