equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈli-brē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌe- \
plural equilibriums or equilibria\ ˌē-​kwə-​ˈli-​brē-​ə How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌe-​ \

Definition of equilibrium

1a : a state of intellectual or emotional balance : poise trying to recover his equilibrium
b : a state of adjustment between opposing or divergent influences or elements
2 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions that is either static (as in a body acted on by forces whose resultant is zero) or dynamic (as in a reversible chemical reaction when the rates of reaction in both directions are equal)

Did you know?

Equilibrium contains a root from the Latin libra, meaning "weight" or "balance". As a constellation, zodiac symbol, and astrological sign, Libra is usually pictured as a set of balance scales, often held by the blindfolded goddess of justice, which symbolizes fairness, equality, and justice. Equilibrium has special meanings in biology, chemistry, physics, and economics, but in all of them it refers to the balance of competing influences.

Examples of equilibrium in a Sentence

Supply and demand were in equilibrium. we must find an equilibrium between commercial development and conservation of our natural treasures
Recent Examples on the Web Today, of course, there is no existing consensus as to what any such equilibrium might entail. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 And messing with that delicate economic equilibrium could have — would have — dire unintended consequences. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 Leaders and other professionals would do well to seek equilibrium somewhere in the middle of the spectrum: self-aware, with a balance self-confidence and humility. Hanna Hart, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 This is the opposite of physicists’ idea of thermodynamic equilibrium, in which energy flows into a system only to inevitably dissipate: imagine a pot of water that is brought to a rolling boil and then returned to room temperature. Karmela Padavic-callaghan, Scientific American, 9 Mar. 2022 But if New York's gerrymander gets policed, and Florida goes wild, the equilibrium disappears. David Daley, CNN, 22 Apr. 2022 For the present, the Lewandowski rumors have hurt the equilibrium at the club and certainly were a significant factor for Bayern Munich to exit the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage for the second year in a row. Manuel Veth, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 The encounter disturbs the equilibrium, both of the empty pub and its ghostly regulars, and of the publican and his place behind the bar. Cressida Leyshon, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Rather, a price change is evidence that the equilibrium has moved because either supply or demand has already changed. WSJ, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'equilibrium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of equilibrium

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for equilibrium

Latin aequilibrium, from aequilibris being in equilibrium, from aequi- + libra weight, balance

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Time Traveler for equilibrium

Time Traveler

The first known use of equilibrium was in 1608

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Dictionary Entries Near equilibrium

equilibristat

equilibrium

equilibrium constant

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Statistics for equilibrium

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Equilibrium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equilibrium. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for equilibrium

equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈli-brē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌe-kwə- \

Kids Definition of equilibrium

1 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions
2 : the normal balanced state of the body that is maintained by the inner ear and that keeps a person or animal from falling

equilibrium

noun
equi·​lib·​ri·​um | \ ˌē-kwə-ˈlib-rē-əm How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) , ˌek-wə- How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) \
plural equilibriums or equilibria\ -​rē-​ə How to pronounce equilibrium (audio) \

Medical Definition of equilibrium

1 : a state of balance between opposing forces or actions that is either static (as in a body acted on by forces whose resultant is zero) or dynamic (as in a reversible chemical reaction when the velocities in both directions are equal)
2 : a state of intellectual or emotional balance

More from Merriam-Webster on equilibrium

Nglish: Translation of equilibrium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of equilibrium for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about equilibrium

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