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

The culprit in this equation is the dish soap, which can often be way too harsh to be using on our hands nonstop. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Dish Cleaning Hack You Didn't Know You Needed," 20 Feb. 2019 The other side of this equation: People who fail to update their skills will qualify for fewer jobs. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "The ‘Hybrid’ Skills That Tomorrow’s Jobs Will Require," 21 Jan. 2019 And, of course, pleasure plays a crucial role in this equation. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "What It's Like to Reclaim Your Sex Life After Sexual Assault," 4 Aug. 2018 The cruelest part of this equation sits right across that parking lot. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, "Stanley Cup photo ops aren’t enough, Caps. Cough up some money for kids of color.," 14 June 2018 Rodgers presence in this equation shouldn't be underestimated. John Canzano, OregonLive.com, "Canzano: Major League move not only for Russell Wilson and Ciara, but for Portland," 1 June 2018 Humility is part of this equation, too as Adams noted. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Clarkson: Question motives and fears to become self-aware," 26 Apr. 2018 The impulse reaction to want to reflect the royalty and beauty of Black Panther is a true testament to why representation matters in entertainment, and the role fashion plays in this equation. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Why I'm Dressing Up to See Black Panther," 14 Feb. 2018 The lopsidedness of this equation was not lost to people on social media, some of whom pointed out that just nine women have ever served in the Alabama state senate. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "These Are the 25 Men Who Voted for the Most Restrictive Abortion Ban in America," 15 May 2019

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

Statistics for equation

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for equation

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on equation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with equation

Spanish Central: Translation of equation

Nglish: Translation of equation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about equation

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).


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

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!