noun equa·nim·i·ty \ ˌē-kwə-ˈni-mə-tē , ˌe-kwə- \
|Updated on: 22 Jul 2018

Definition of equanimity

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

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Examples of equanimity in a Sentence

  1. 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 WhiteFlaws in the Glass(1981) 1983
  2. 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 ConradChance(1913) 1924
  3. an Olympic diver who always displays remarkable equanimity on the platform

Recent Examples of equanimity from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of equanimity

Latin aequanimitas, from aequo animo with even mind

Synonym Discussion of 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

EQUANIMITY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of equanimity for English Language Learners

  • : calm emotions when dealing with problems or pressure

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very hard to disturb or upset

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