equanimity

noun
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Seneca himself is recorded to have died with complete equanimity, forced to take his own life but doing so calmly and while speaking of courage in life and death. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2022 The simple practice of daily meditation can help people become calmer, less reactive, achieve more equanimity and feel a greater sense of contentment. Katie Sandler, Sun Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2022 Pérez has the ability to maintain a positive outlook through tough times, treating everyone around him with equanimity. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2022 Tom gracefully stepped aside and granted his brother lead status on both vocals and guitar, settling with considerable equanimity for a secondary role as an exemplary rhythm guitarist in what was now his kid brother’s band. Elizabeth Nelson, WSJ, 19 Aug. 2022 Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron describes ways to practice equanimity, outlining a situation analogous to yours – sitting in heavy traffic, while people cut ahead of you. Amy Dickinson, cleveland, 12 Aug. 2022 Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron describes ways to practice equanimity, outlining a situation analogous to yours – sitting in heavy traffic, while people cut ahead of you. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 12 Aug. 2022 Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron describes ways to practice equanimity, outlining a situation analogous to yours – sitting in heavy traffic, while people cut ahead of you. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 12 Aug. 2022 Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron describes ways to practice equanimity, outlining a situation analogous to yours – sitting in heavy traffic, while people cut ahead of you. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 12 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of equanimity was circa 1616

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Dictionary Entries Near equanimity

equal-tempered

equanimity

equanimous

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Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Equanimity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equanimity. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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