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 equilibria (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)

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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 And Corres expertly gauges the equilibrium of a man determined to keep the peace, initially almost overcompensating in his efforts to befriend Rodrigo, and gradually becoming more retaliatory as his position is undermined. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Summer White' ('Blanco de Verano'): Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 But in a shaken beer, the equilibrium inside the can is disrupted. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Sad: Tapping a Shaken Beer Won't Stop It from Exploding," 11 Dec. 2019 Still, eventually the environment will return to equilibrium, and plants will grow anew. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Macabre Science of Animal Mass Die-Offs," 21 Jan. 2020 Bahcall's theory rests on three fundamental concepts familiar to any condensed matter physicist: phase separation, dynamic equilibrium, and critical mass. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "“Loonshots” and phase transitions are the key to innovation, physicist argues," 29 Dec. 2019 This causes muscles to go limp and a loss of equilibrium. Matt Williams, ExpressNews.com, "Research study following bass that go beep," 19 Dec. 2019 Producers:LucasJoaquin, Braden King, Derrick Tseng) — Cole Freeman maintains an uneasy equilibrium in his rural Appalachian town, looking after the old and infirm while selling their excess painkillers to local addicts. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "Taylor Swift doc among movies headed to 2020 Sundance Film Festival," 4 Dec. 2019 With producers rushing to adapt his work for film and television at a higher clip than ever, their ability to find this equilibrium often marks the difference between failure and success. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Supernatural Gets Serious in The Outsider," 12 Jan. 2020 This is the fifth installment in KHN’s year-long series, No Mercy, which follows how the closure of one beloved rural hospital disrupts a community’s health care, economy and equilibrium. NBC News, "Coping with loss of hospital, rural town realizes: We don't need one," 27 Dec. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for equilibrium

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Equilibrium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equilibrium. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for equilibrium

equilibrium

noun
How to pronounce equilibrium (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of equilibrium

: a state in which opposing forces or actions are balanced so that one is not stronger or greater than the other
: a state of emotional balance or calmness

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 equilibria (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

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