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 The bond market, at least so far, has received this morning’s news with equanimity. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 13 July 2021 More than anything, Tyler appears to have found a certain equanimity. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 30 June 2021 The yield on the 10-year Treasury absorbed the May CPI report with apparent equanimity – and fell like a stone. George Calhoun, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Stuart has this wonderful masculinity and intellect but also this tenderness, insight and equanimity. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 31 May 2021 Returning from his suspension, Cora added his energy and equanimity back into the equation. BostonGlobe.com, 3 May 2021 And then my other two brothers, Osiris is the god of the underworld, Egyptian god of the underworld, and Equanimious comes from the word equanimity. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 1 May 2021 Even as a teenager, Lammers handled criticisms and praises with equanimity. Zach Mason, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Apr. 2021 Buttigieg had reportedly met with Obama in his Washington office months before the October 2019 event to seek advice on how to maintain equanimity in the face of homophobia on the campaign trail. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for equanimity

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The first known use of equanimity was circa 1616

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equanimity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equanimity. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of equanimity

formal : calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure

More from Merriam-Webster on equanimity

Nglish: Translation of equanimity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equanimity for Arabic Speakers


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