equa·​tion | \ i-ˈkwā-zhən How to pronounce equation (audio) 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 Intelligence operates within a haze of duplicity, with two (or more) often equally confused sides to any equation. Sigrid Macrae, Harper's Magazine, "Two Germanys," 16 Mar. 2021 His efforts this time to add Shiites to the equation by meeting with Ayatollah Sistani in Shia-majority Iraq upset some Sunni officials. New York Times, "Pope Francis Meets Iraq’s Top Ayatollah as Both Urge Peace," 6 Mar. 2021 The Illini are a deep team regardless, but adding him to the equation makes an already difficult task harder. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State basketball vs Illinois preview: TV info, key players, starters, prediction," 6 Mar. 2021 However, the oil majors add to the equation deep pockets, a high risk tolerance and a new strategic rationale to do deals. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, "Big Oil Faces Off Against Clean-Energy Giants," 2 Mar. 2021 The Buccaneers, of course, are already in Tampa, adding one more oddity to the equation. Chronicle News Services, San Francisco Chronicle, "Opening Night begins Super Bowl week without fanfare," 1 Feb. 2021 Beyond the train cars being empty, and the whale tail sculpture standing in as a cantilever, there's yet another lucky part to this equation: the train must have been moving fairly slow, Wolf reasons. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How the F@!# Did This Giant Whale Tail Save a Derailed Train?," 2 Nov. 2020 Interestingly, in 2018, that equation sold at auction in the U.K. for $125,000. Renee Morad, NBC News, "10 inventions that wouldn't exist if it weren't for these incredible women," 25 Mar. 2021 According to Galea, part of the mass shooting equation is just the sheer number of firearms in the United States, where Americans own more guns per capita than any other nation in the world. Erin Schumaker, ABC News, "3 graphics tell the story of mass shootings during the pandemic," 24 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for equation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for equation

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Equation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equation. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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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 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

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