equa·​tion | \ i-ˈkwā-zhən also -shən How to pronounce equation (audio) \

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 Red wine might be your default glass with a good cut of beef, but don't discount the deliciousness that a brut champagne can bring to the equation. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The Best Foods to Pair with Champagne," 19 Dec. 2019 The new Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), approved by the FHSAA board in January, adds one more strength-of-schedule factor to the equation but no longer includes bonus points and is less complicated mathematically. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "FHSAA kicks off use of new system for awarding playoff bids," 22 Aug. 2019 About 90% of that equation is Wiggins’ level of want-to. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors’ new-guy Wiggins is a mystery grab bag," 10 Feb. 2020 Adding vinegar to the equation doubles down on that effect. 2. Molly Baz, Bon Appétit, "Forget Hot Wings, I’m Making This Masala Fried Chicken From Now On," 20 Jan. 2020 Core Competence The idea of secured-core PC is to take firmware out of that equation, eliminating it as a link in the chain that determines what's trustworthy on a system. Wired, "Microsoft's New Plan to Defend the Code Deep Within PCs," 21 Oct. 2019 Algorithmic politics in Kashmir On Aug. 05, the Narendra Modi regime changed the equation between the state of Jammu & Kashmir and the central government. Rajesh Kasturirangan, Quartz India, "Authoritarian regimes are using algorithms to control minds and power," 3 Oct. 2019 So far, the Raiders have mostly seen the negative side of that equation. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders will suspend Antonio Brown after threat to hit GM Mayock: report," 5 Sep. 2019 And so the equation begins to unfold, force amplifying force, thermal energy accumulating. Washington Post, "The Bachelor sustains a head injury — and still makes out with everyone," 4 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of equation

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about equation

Time Traveler for equation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for equation

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Equation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equation. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for equation


How to pronounce equation (audio)

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 How to pronounce equation (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!