equa·tion | \i-ˈkwā-zhən also -shən \

Definition of equation 

1a : the act or process of equating

b(1) : an element affecting a process : factor

(2) : a complex of variable factors

c : a state of being equated specifically : a state of close association or identification bring governmental enterprises and payment for them into immediate equation — R. G. Tugwell

2a : a usually formal statement of the equality or equivalence of mathematical or logical expressions

b : an expression representing a chemical reaction quantitatively by means of chemical symbols

Examples of equation in a Sentence

the equation of material wealth with happiness

Recent Examples on the Web

While price and results are part of the equation, and to pretend otherwise would be disingenuous, value always rules the day. Jim Troha, Washington Post, "Value matters in choosing a college. But not just the price kind.," 13 July 2018 The Magnus force can be modeled as the following equation: Note: this article at Physics World by Takeshi Asal gives some more details. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "Let's Use Physics to Model a Curving Soccer Ball," 24 June 2018 Starting this October, the government will address the other side of the equation, giving nursing homes bonuses or penalties based on their Medicare rehospitalization rates. Jordan Rau, chicagotribune.com, "Medicare takes aim at boomerang hospitalizations of nursing home patients," 22 June 2018 Watching Asia come into the equation, for instance, has made the game more exciting; at the tournament in Paris, there are players from Korea, Japan, India and China. Time, "'I Wake Up With More Purpose Now.' Andre Agassi on Building a Life After Tennis," 11 June 2018 The California part of that equation, however, is looking highly ambitious. Trapper Byrne, San Francisco Chronicle, "Election 2018: Bay Area voters, this is your guide to a jam-packed primary," 4 June 2018 Familiar to most will be the fried chicken half of the equation, and multiple varieties and combos are available. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Eat Here First: 3 new restaurants to try before everybody else does," 13 Mar. 2018 But there’s another side to the public-sector-union equation, a side that reveals the unintended consequences that fall most disastrously on America’s poor and working-class people. Will Swaim, National Review, "Civil Service and Civil Rights Are Not Synonymous," 16 Feb. 2018 As for the second piece of the equation, the Vikings had plenty of blazes of their own to put out over the past few years, and the quarterback injuries are just the start of it. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Cleveland Browns Won’t Be Starting From Scratch in Evaluating the Draft’s Top Quarterbacks," 25 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equation.' 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 equation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Phrases Related to equation

enter (into) the equation

Statistics for equation

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for equation

The first known use of equation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for equation



English Language Learners Definition of equation

mathematics : a statement that two expressions are equal (such as 8 + 3 = 11 or 2x – 3 = 7)

: a complicated situation or issue

: the act of regarding two things as the same : the act of equating things


equa·tion | \i-ˈkwā-zhən \

Kids Definition of equation

1 : a statement of the equality of two mathematical expressions

2 : an expression representing a chemical reaction by means of chemical symbols


equa·tion | \i-ˈkwā-zhən also -shən\

Medical Definition of equation 

: an expression representing a chemical reaction quantitatively by means of chemical symbols

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Comments on equation

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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